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AION eyes stake in Lakshmi Vilas Bank; ArcelorMittal circles Essar group firm
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Special situations private equity firm AION Capital Partners has joined the list of suitors for a significant minority stake in private-sector lender Lakshmi Vilas Bank, a media report said.

The Economic Times reported, citing two people aware of the development, that the bank is looking to sell a 26-30% stake.

The lender is also in early discussions with private equity firms Blackstone, Carlyle and True North, and strategic investors such as DBS Bank, according to the report.

Parthasarathi Mukherjee, managing director at Lakshmi Vilas Bank, told the financial daily that the deal is likely to be closed by the year-end.
JPMorgan & Chase is advising the bank on the stake sale.

AION is a joint venture between US-based Apollo Global Management and ICICI Venture, the private equity arm of private-sector lender ICICI Bank.

Separately, AION is also in exclusive discussions to acquire InterGlobe Technologies, The Times of India reported, citing people aware of the development.

InterGlobe Enterprises Pvt. Ltd, the parent of budget airline IndiGo, could sell its InterGlobe Technologies unit for $225-250 million, the report said.

Incorporated in 1998, Gurugram-based InterGlobe Technologies provides technology, business process outsourcing and consulting services to travel companies.

Investment bank Moelis & Co. is advising AION on this deal, according to the report.

In another development, steel giant ArcelorMittal is among suitors for debt-laden EPC Constructions India Ltd, The Economic Times reported, citing people aware of the development.

Alchemist ARC and Mauritius-based Royale Partners Investment Fund are the other suitors, the report said.

EPC Constructions, formerly Essar Projects India, is undergoing insolvency proceedings. The last date for submission of bids is 22 September.

EPC Constructions is an engineering, procurement and construction company of Essar Group. Its debt stood at Rs 6,000 crore, according to the report.

Separately, infrastructure-focused investment manager AMP Capital is in advanced discussions with Hyderabad-based GVK Group to acquire a significant minority stake in Mumbai International Airport Pvt. Ltd (MIAL) at a valuation of Rs 3,000-5,000 crore, The Economic Times reported, citing people aware of the development.

MIAL is a consortium which operates the Mumbai international airport. GVK holds a 50.5% stake in MIAL, South Africa’s Bidvest Group 13.5% and Airports Company South Africa 10%. The remaining 26% stake is held by Airports Authority of India. MIAL also owns 74% of another company that has the right to develop an airport on Mumbai's outskirts.

The same report also said that US-based private equity firm Lone Star is in talks to invest in GMR’s airport holding entity at a valuation of about Rs 4,500 crore. GMR has initiated the process for an initial public offering of the airport holding entity, according to the report.

The holding entity operates two airports in New Delhi and Hyderabad. It is also developing an airport in Goa.

In another development, US-based private equity firm JC Flowers & Co. may buy out partner Ambit Holdings Pvt. Ltd from joint venture Ambit Flowers Asset Reconstruction, Mint reported, citing two people aware of the development.

JC Flowers and Ambit hold a 47.5% stake each in the joint venture. The remaining 5% is held by former Citibank executive and serial entrepreneur Jerry Rao, according to the report.

The joint venture was formed in 2016.

The report also said that JC Flowers is in advanced discussions to mark the first close at around $150 million for an offshore distressed assets fund.

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