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Barbeque Nation MD’s firm eyes Toscano; Bharti Airtel may list Africa unit
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Barbeque Nation managing director Kayum Dhanani owned Samar Retail is in advanced talks to acquire Red Apple Kitchen Consultancy Pvt. Ltd, which runs fine-dining Italian restaurant chain Toscano, The Times of India reported.

Bengaluru-based Toscano, which is promoted by two chefs Jean Michel Jasserand and Goutham Balasubramanian, runs five restaurants.

Its net sales stood at Rs 31.79 crore in the year through March 2017, against Rs 23.85 crore in the year before, according to VCCEdge, the data research platform of News Corp VCCircle.

Samar Retail, which is part of the Dhanani-promoted Sara Group, runs pizza outlets under the Onesta brand.

Airtel Africa

Billionaire Sunil Bharti Mittal-led Bharti Airtel Ltd is looking to raise $1-1.5 billion (Rs 6,680-10,020 crore) by selling a 25% stake in its wholly-owned subsidiary, Bharti Airtel International (Netherlands) BV, through a public listing at the London Stock Exchange in early 2019, a financial daily reported.

In February, Bharti Airtel had said in a stock exchange disclosure that Airtel Africa had initiated non-binding exploratory discussions with banks and intermediaries to evaluate a public offer and listing.

Bharti Airtel International (Netherlands) is the holding company for the Africa operations of Bharti Airtel. The company has operations across 14 African countries. Its total revenue from the Africa operations stood at Rs 20,156.4 crore in the year through March 2018.

The Economic Times reported that the telecom company will use the funds to stay competitive in the Indian market.

Aditya Birla’s ARC biz

Aditya Birla Capital Ltd, the holding company of the group’s financial services interests, is looking to tie up with global alternative investment firm Varde Partners for its yet-to-be-launched distressed assets business.

Mint reported that the talks are still at an early stage. Last September, Aditya Birla ARC Ltd had received an in-principal approval from the Reserve Bank of India to set up the business.

In February, Ajay Srinivasan, the chief executive officer of Aditya Birla Capital, had told the financial daily that the company will infuse regulatory capital in the ARC division to start the business, besides being open to partnering with foreign stressed asset investors.

Aditya Birla Capital offers life and health insurance, asset management, private equity, corporate lending, structured finance, broking, wealth management and housing finance. The company was listed in September 2017, following a restructuring exercise at the group level.

Finolex woes

The founding families of Finolex Group are involved in a bitter feud over the Rs 10,000-crore business empire, ET reported.

Finolex Cables alleged that independent director Sanjay Asher had “abused his fiduciary position” and acted against the interest of the company by lending partisan support to the rival faction led by Prakash Chhabria, the report added. Finolex Cables is led by Deepak Chhabria.

Sanjay Asher is a senior partner at law firm Crawford Bayley & Co. He is also an independent director in Finolex Industries. “The question of my abusing fiduciary position as an independent director does not arise,” Asher told the financial daily.

The Chhabria factions own shares in Orbit Electricals, the holding company of two listed entities of the Finolex Group. As on 31 March 2018, Orbit Electricals held 31.96% and 18.8% stakes in Finolex Cables and Finolex Industries, respectively.

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