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Future Group eyes Vulcan Express; ChrysCapital looks to invest in Varthana
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Kishore Biyani-led Future Group is in talks to acquire Vulcan Express Pvt. Ltd--the logistics arm of e-commerce firm Snapdeal--for around Rs 50 crore in cash, The Economic Times reported, citing people aware of the development.

The development comes four months after the firm received a Rs 152 crore infusion from Snapdeal, operated by Jasper Infotech Pvt. Ltd. Just before that, there was speculation that Snapdeal was looking to sell Vulcan Express as part of its leaner 'Snapdeal 2.0' strategy, which was chalked out after it scrapped merger talks with Flipkart.

Vulcan Express offers end-to-end logistics and supply chain solutions for retail companies. It was born out of Snapdeal's endeavour to build its own logistics arm after it failed to acquire GoJavas, in which it had bought a 42% stake in 2015. Snapdeal pulled the plug on GoJavas last year after instances of large-scale financial irregularities. GoJavas was subsequently acquired by Pigeon Express.

Vulcan's net revenue jumped to Rs 184 crore for the financial year 2015-16 from Rs 26.7 crore the previous year. However, losses increased six times to Rs 20 crore from Rs 3.2 crore.

For Future Group, acquiring Vulcan Express would help boost last-mile delivery as part of its strategy to integrate its digital and brick-and-mortar businesses.

In a separate report, Mint said homegrown private equity firm ChrysCapital is looking to buy a sizeable minority stake in Bengaluru-headquartered school finance firm Thirumeni Finance Pvt. Ltd, which operates under the brand name Varthana.

Mint cited two people aware of the development as saying that the discussions are at an advanced stage and that ChrysCapital will invest around $50 million (Rs 300 crore) in the non-banking financial company.

Varthana was launched by Brajesh Mishra and Steve Hardgrave in 2013. It provides loans and other support to affordable private schools that cater to the poor and the emerging middle class. Loans are typically used to improve and expand school infrastructure, and to invest in solutions that help improve student learning outcomes.

Meanwhile, Hero Group's renewable energy firm, Hero Future Energies Pvt. Ltd, is in advanced talks to acquire New Delhi-headquartered Orange Renewable, Mint reported citing people aware of the development.

According to the report, Hyderabad-based clean energy firm Greenko is no longer in the race to buy Orange Renewable.

Orange Renewable, a fully owned subsidiary of Singapore-based AT Holdings, has an operating generation capacity of 758 megawatt. This includes 567 megawatt of wind energy and 191 megawatt of solar energy capacity. The projects are spread across seven Indian states.

AT Capital Group, the parent firm of AT Holdings, has a global portfolio that includes investments in real estate, hospitality, natural resources, renewable energy, engineering and construction.

Orange Renewable has given Rothschild the mandate of finding a buyer, the report added.

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