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Etihad asks SBI to acquire Jet stake; PE firms look to buy Dewan Housing's bonds
Photo Credit: Reuters

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad has asked State Bank of India to purchase its 24% stake in cash-strapped Jet Airways, compounding the local carrier's problems, multiple media reports said.

Etihad has offered to sell its stake at Rs 150 per share, or a total of Rs 400 crore, The Economic Times and Mint newspapers said, citing people aware of the matter. Shares of Jet Airways opened 5.8% lower at Rs 215.70 apiece on Wednesday on the BSE.

The reports said that Etihad has also offered its 50.1% stake in Jet Privilege, the airline's customer loyalty programme, to the state-run bank.

Etihad had bought the 24% stake in Jet in 2013 for Rs 2,057 crore, or $379 million at the time. It had separately paid $150 million for the majority stake in Jet Privilege and $70 million to buy three parking slots at London’s Heathrow Airport from the Indian carrier.

Jet Airways has been struggling to stay afloat due to high levels of debt, rising fuel prices and intense competition. It has grounded a large number of planes in recent weeks and its pilots are now threatening to go on a strike if their salaries are not paid. Last month, the board of Jet Airways approved a plan to convert its debt into equity shares, which will make the lenders the largest shareholders of India’s biggest full-service carrier.

In another report, The Economic Times said citing sources that private equity firms KKR & Co, Baring PE Asia, SSG Capital and US-based Peregrine are in talks to buy the bonds of Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd.

The PE firms are looking to buy Dewan Housing's bonds from "some high-profile funds" at a discount of 15-30%, the report said. Dewan Housing has about Rs 47,000 crore of outstanding debt securities held by investors, it added.

The development comes at a time when Dewan Housing is selling non-core assets and taking a number of other measures to pare debt and ease investor concerns related to a liquidity crunch that plagues the broader non-banking financial sector. Dewan Housing has also been accused of financial misconduct, though it has denied the allegations.

Meanwhile, US-based online home rental company Airbnb plans to invest $100-200 million in homegrown budget hospitality unicorn OYO Rooms, digital media publication The Information said, citing two persons in the know.

The report also said that the deal could fall apart because of tax-related complexities for Airbnb to invest in a foreign startup.

OYO had raised $1 billion from SoftBank, Sequoia and other existing investors less than six months ago.

Separately, parenting-pregnancy social network app Healofy has raised $10 million (Rs 69 crore at current exchange rate) in a Series A round, said 36Kr, a Chinese website that tracks startup fundraisings in the country.

The round was led by Alibaba-backed parenting network and e-commerce portal Babytree, which is listed on the Hong Kong Stock exchange. The following joined the round: Existing investor Omidyar Network and emerging market-focused Chinese venture capital firm BAce Capital.

Healofy, owned by Vivoiz Healthtech Pvt. Ltd, was a part of Facebook’s FbStart programme in 2016 and had raised a seed funding of $41 million in March 2018 https://www.techcircle.in/2018/03/14/parenting-social-network-healofy-gets-seed-funding-from-omidyar from Omidyar.

Healofy was founded by Gaurav Aggarwal and Shubham Maheshwari in 2015 and supports 11 Indian languages. The platform has user-generated content and blogs where users can post queries on pregnancy and/or parenting. The company competes with similar platforms in the space including BabyChakra, Parentlane and Tinystep.

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