Mumbai: Mint brings you your dose of the top deals news, reported from newsrooms across the country.
TVS Group looks to sell 20% stake in logistics arm for up to ₹400 crore
TVS Group plans to raise ₹350- ₹400 crore by selling about a 20% stake in its logistics and warehousing business to private equity investors, Mint reported citing two people aware of the development. TVS Industrial and Logistics Park (TVS ILP) Pvt. Ltd is seeking valuation of ₹2,000 crore and has appointed Avendus Capital to manage the transaction, said the first person, adding that the company TVS Group currently owns 50% of TVS ILP. Founded in 2005, TVS ILP is one of the few organized companies in the fragmented logistics parks, industrial facilities, and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) space in India. The scale of operations has almost tripled in the past couple of years, as TVS ILP is on track to execute 15 million sq. ft by 2021, according to the company’s website. The fundraising plans come at a time when logistics, particularly warehousing, in India is growing at a robust pace on the back of increasing leasing activities, which has kindled interest among private equity investors.
Tencent bets big on Indian tech startups
Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings, best known for its WeChat messenger app, is looking to increase its bets on Indian technology companies, at a time when its home market is seeing a slowdown in venture capital investments, Mint reported. The move comes as the startup funding party is slowing down in China, with investments, valuations and number of deals falling in the last six months. With that, Tencent and other Chinese investors are looking to India, which is closest in terms of market size and similarity, according to an Indian venture capitalist who works closely with Chinese investors including Tencent. Tencent started investing in Indian startups in 2014, when it led an undisclosed Series B round in Ola. From 2014 to February 2018, it invested in seven companies, including Flipkart, Byju’s and Hike Messenger. With five fresh deals closed since last year, including some of the fastest-growing big startups such as Dream11 and Swiggy, and ongoing conversations with at least half a dozen more firms, Tencent has steadily increased its focus on India.
IDBI Bank to sell stakes in 19 unlisted companies for at least ₹175 crore
Life Insurance Corp. of India (LIC)-owned private sector lender IDBI Bank has decided to sell its stakes in 19 unlisted companies for at least ₹175 crore, Mint reported citing a document seeking bids. According to the document, the bank is looking for bidders for more than 170 million shares in companies, including Mysore Paper Mills Ltd., 58.5 million shares of Konaseema Gas Power, 24 million shares of Gujarat NRE Coke, 27 million shares of Haldia Petrochemicals and 18 million shares of Neelachal Ispat Nigam. A person aware of the development said that in most of these companies IDBI Bank had converted debt to equity as part of stress resolutions, and now plans to exit them. These also include equity stakes taken as part of the erstwhile corporate debt restructuring (CDR) mechanism, wherein distressed borrowers were given a breather through delayed repayment timelines and lower rates of interest. The bids are open to retail as well as institutional bidders.
Drip Capital raises $25 million from Accel, Sequoia India, others
Trade finance firm Drip Capital, that uses electronic data and technology to rapidly underwrite and finance cross-border B2B transactions, raised $25 million in a Series B funding led by Accel with participation from existing investors, including Sequoia India, Wing VC, and Y Combinator, Mint reported. New investors in this round include GC1 Ventures and institutional investor platform Trusted Insight. The company has raised over $45 million in equity to date and $55 million in debt, taking the total funding to $100 million. Drip Capital uses technology to provide working capital to small companies and entrepreneurs. The trade finance gap currently stands at $1.5 trillion globally, the majority of which is among small business exporters in emerging markets. This means $1.5 trillion of trade does not happen due to a lack of access to working capital.
Zeta’s employee benefits business merges into Sodexo BRS
Sodexo Benefits and Rewards Services (Sodexo BRS), the employee benefits and rewards unit of Sodexo India, is merging Bengaluru-based fintech company Zeta’s employee benefits business into its firm, its senior executives said in an interaction with Mint. Zeta will hold a minority stake in Sodexo BRS post the merger. Sodexo BRS which has been offering employee benefits and rewards for the last 22 years in India, is the largest company in the meal and gift vouchers space. After the merger, Sodexo would launch a single electronic card, which would include services provided by Sodexo’s meal card and a multi-benefits card powered by RuPay. The merger comes a day after Sodexo led a close to $60 million investment in Zeta to pick up a minority stake in the four-year-old neo banking startup, at a valuation of over $300 million. Zeta plans to use the capital to expand its business across 15 countries including the US, the UK, in Europe and in Southeast Asia.
Singapore’s CapitaLand plans foray into housing, malls
Singapore-based investor CapitaLand is looking into entering residential and retail real estate in this country, Business Standard reported citing a senior executive. It had recently acquired the business units of Temasek Holdings-owned Ascendas Singbridge, creating one of Asia's largest diversified real estate groups with over S$123 billion of assets under management (AUM). As the platform already has investments in logistics and infotech centres, it is looking to build a team, probably from Singapore, to enter the residential and retail space, said Sanjeev Dasgupta, chief executive officer at Ascendas India Trust, which is listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX). Until January, CapitaLand used to have stakes in the malls developed by Prestige Estates, which the latter bought back for ₹342 crore. Dasgupta said that his firm also looked to double its assets in the commercial property portfolio.