Blackstone buys stake in Forum Group’s mall; Kedaara, others eye Star Health
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Global private equity giant Blackstone Group has bought a majority stake in a retail project of real estate developer Forum Group, a report in a financial daily said.

According to Business Standard, the PE firm has invested about Rs 250 crore ($39 million) for a 75% stake in retail space Esplanade Mall in Bhubaneswar.

Forum is investing Rs 1,400 crore to develop about three million square feet of retail space in the eastern part of India. The group is talking with Blackstone for investments in other retail projects, the report added.

Forum Group has three operational malls, two in West Bengal and one in Bhubaneswar. The company aims to deliver about one million square foot of retail space every year over the next three years, the report said.

PE firms vie for stake in insurer Star Health

Ace stock market investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala's RARE Enterprises, Azim Premji’s Premji Invest besides half a dozen private equity firms and institutional investors are vying to acquire stake in Star Health and Allied Insurance Co Ltd, a report in a national daily said.

According to the Times of India, the company has also received bids from home-grown private equity firm Kedaara Capital, WestBridge, and Singapore state investment arm Temasek.

Other strategic investors include ICICI Lombard and HDFC General Insurance, the report added.

In November last year, VCCircle had reported that the insurer had received bids from investors such as Carlyle, TPG and Bain Capital as well as insurance firms Bajaj Allianz and ICICI Lombard.

Star Health’s existing investors ICICI Venture, Sequoia Capital, Tata Capital, Alpha TC Holdings, Apis Partners, Oman Insurance Company and ETA Star of Dubai appear to be in favour of a sale that is now in the final stage, the ToI report stated.

Kotak Mahindra Bank has been given the mandate to run the sale process, the report added.

Tata Group to sell oil and gas business

Tata Group is exploring possibilities to sell its oil and gas exploration business in its bid to prune its portfolio and exit businesses that are either unprofitable or lacking scale, a report in a financial daily said.

The salt-to-software conglomerate has hired EY, formerly Ernst & Young, to look for suitors and gauge their interest in Tata Petrodyne Ltd (TPL), Mint reported citing two people in the know.

Of late the company has skipped auctions of exploration and production blocks in the country and slashed investments in its hydrocarbon blocks, the report added.

Incorporated in 1993, TPL was first promoted by Tata Industries Ltd and then was subsequently acquired by Tata Power. However, in March 2005, Tata Sons Ltd bought over Tata Power’s 100% stake in TPL keeping in mind the large investment requirements in the oil and gas business, information on the company’s website states.

In India, TPL has four oil and gas blocks in India and one each in Indonesia and Tanzania.

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