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Baring PE Asia joins race for stake in Lakshmi Vilas Bank; PE firms chase Ess Kay
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Hong Kong-based alternative asset management firm Baring Private Equity Asia is in talks to pick up at least a 26% stake in private-sector lender Lakshmi Vilas Bank, a media report said on Wednesday.

Citing two people aware of the development, the Mint newspaper said Lakshmi Vilas Bank is seeking a valuation of $1 billion but Baring PE Asia is valuing it around $400 million.

Lakshmi Vilas Bank is also in separate talks with a strategic investor, according to the report.

On Tuesday, The Economic Times had reported that private equity firm AION Capital Partners had joined the list of suitors for a stake in Lakshmi Vilas Bank. The report had also said that the lender was in early discussions with private equity firms Blackstone, Carlyle and True North, as well as DBS Bank to sell the stake.

In another development, Mint reported that PE firms TPG, ChrysCapital, Creador Capital and Goldman Sachs are looking to pick up a significant minority stake in Jaipur-based non-banking financial company Ess Kay Fincorp Ltd.

Citing two people aware of the development, the report said that the firms are vying to buy the stake by investing up to Rs 600 crore. The report said the company’s valuation is 2.4-2.5 times the value of its last round of funding.

In January, multi-stage private investment firm Norwest Venture Partners had led a $32 million (Rs 200 crore) funding round in Ess Kay Fincorp. PE firm BanyanTree Growth Capital had fully exited the company in that round.

Ess Kay operates in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra through a network of 226 branches, according to its website.
Meanwhile, The Economic Times reported that Gharda Medical and Advanced Technologies Foundation is planning to sell its 57.5% stake in agrochemicals maker Gharda Chemicals Ltd.

Citing a person aware of the development, the report said that the foundation would use the sale proceeds to build innovative products and technologies for the chemical and metal industries.

The report said the company’s valuation could be more than 14 times its operating profit. The company could be valued more than Rs 9,500 crore, according to the report.

Gharda Chemicals’ consolidated net sales stood at Rs 1,937.8 crore in the year through March 2017, up from Rs 1,668.9 crore in the previous year, according to VCCEdge, the data research platform of VCCircle.

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