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CPPIB front runner for Sadbhav Infra assets; Gourmet eyes PE-backed Chili's
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Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), the North American country’s biggest public pension fund, has entered into exclusive talks with Sadbhav Infrastructure Project Ltd to acquire the company's 12 operating road assets, according to a media report.

The deal is likely to be worth $400-500 million, The Economic Times reported, citing two people it didn't identify.

Last year, the newspaper had said that other investors such as Canadian pension fund CDPQ and I Squared-backed Cube Highways were also separately in talks for the deal.

CPPIB plans to buy the Sadbhav assets through an infrastructure investment trust (InvIT) launched by L&T Infrastructure Investment Development Projects Ltd. CPPIB and Allianz Capital Partners, the in-house alternative investment firm of Munich-headquartered financial services firm Allianz, own a stake in the InvIT.

CPPIB has invested over $5 billion in India since it entered the country a decade ago.

Sadbhav Infrastructure, a subsidiary of Sadbhav Engineering Ltd, was incorporated as an asset holding company for road and other infrastructure build-operate-transfer (BOT) projects in 2007. It has a portfolio of 11 BOT projects and 12 hybrid annuity projects.

The company posted consolidated revenue of Rs 2,322.48 crore for the year ended 31 March 2018 as compared with Rs 1,403.89 crore the prevoius year. Its net loss narrowed to Rs 329 crore from Rs 353 crore.

Meanwhile, Bharti Group-promoted Gourmet Investments is in advanced stages to buy American casual dining chain Chili’s Grill & Bar's 13 restaurants for Rs 100-120 crore, The Times of India reported, citing people it didn't identify.

The restaurants are located in the western and southern regions of the country.

Chili’s is owned by American multinational hospitality company Brinker International. Chennai-based Texmex Cuisine, backed by private equity firm TVS Capital, has exclusive development rights for the brand Chili's in western and southern India.

Some of the international brand partners Gourmet Investments works with include PizzaExpress, Ministry of Crab and Nihonbashi. 

In a separate development, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) is reportedly in talks to acquire online fashion marketplace Fynd as the Mukesh Ambani-led conglomerate lays the ground for a major push into e-commerce.

Citing people it did not name, news portal Entrackr reported that discussions between the two parties have been underway for the past 45 days and are now at an advanced stage.

It added that Reliance is likely to purchase at least 70% stake in Fynd, which last raised funding in March 2018 in a Series C round led by technology giant Google.

Email queries sent to Fynd co-founder Harsh Shah did not elicit a response till the time of publishing this report.

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