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Fullerton out of PNB Housing race; Amazon Pay may buy Tapzo
Photo Credit: Reuters

Fullerton Financial, owned by Singapore state investment firm Temasek, has pulled out of the race to buy a stake in PNB Housing Finance Ltd, a media report said.

Citing people aware of the development, The Times of India reported that Fullerton backed out due to a rise in the share price of the mortgage lender.

The report said the spike in the share price would push the deal size to over $2.5 billion. This includes buying a 51% stake that Punjab National Bank and The Carlyle Group have put up for sale and a mandatory open offer to minority shareholders to buy an additional 26%.

State-run Punjab National Bank holds a 32.79% stake in the mortgage lender while private equity firm Carlyle owns 32.36%.

PNB Housing shares closed at Rs 1,411 apiece on Tuesday, giving the company a market value of about Rs 23,500 crore ($3.36 billion). The shares have risen 34% since touching a one-year low of Rs 1,051 apiece on 22 June.

Meanwhile, multiple media reports said that Amazon Pay is looking to acquire personal assistant platform Tapzo in a cash-and-stock deal.

Citing two people aware of the development, The Economic Times reported that the deal would be valued around $40-45 million. Tapzo’s investors would exit with a cash payout, the report added.

Tapzo was founded in 2010. The company, which has undergone multiple pivots and rebranding exercises, initially started off as Akosha.com, an online customer feedback platform. In 2015, it rebranded itself as Helpchat, a chat-based personal assistant. Subsequently, in November 2016, it underwent one more pivot and rebranded as Tapzo.

Amazon's planned move will heat up the digital payments battle, where it would compete with global giants Google (Pay), Facebook (WhatsApp’s to-be-launched payment services), Alibaba (Paytm) and Walmart (Flipkart's PhonePe).

In another development, the Mint daily reported that New Delhi-based industrial gases producer Goyal MG Gases Pvt. Ltd has made the highest bid for a controlling stake in debt-laden Jhabua Power Ltd, a subsidiary of Avantha Power and Infrastructure Ltd.

Citing two people aware of the development, the report said that Goyal MG offered Rs 2,350 crore in enterprise value to the lenders for a controlling stake in the power project.

The report said Goyal MG has provided the necessary bank guarantees and would sign the asset transfer agreement in the coming week.

Jhabua Power has 600 MW of thermal capacity fully operational and 660 MW under implementation, according to its website. The power plant is located at Seoni district in Madhya Pradesh.

Founded in 2005, Gurugram-based Avantha Power is part of the Avantha Group, a business conglomerate led by Gautam Thapar.

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