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Grapevine: Actis to buy solar assets from Finland’s Fortum; NIIF to invest in FirstCry
Photo Credit: Pixabay

Private equity firm Actis is looking to acquire four-fifths of the stake in 500 megawatts of solar projects in India owned by Finland’s state-controlled power utility Fortum Oyj, a Mint report said citing two people aware of the development. Fortum will retain the remaining stake. 

The deal may have an equity value upwards of €100 million. In addition to selling 80% stake in existing projects, the deal with an enterprise value of around €300 million also involves bringing these 500MW solar projects under a new platform, in which Actis will contribute equity to develop projects in India and overseas totalling around 2.5 gigawatts. 

The Fortum deal has witnessed significant traction with interest coming in from investors such as Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, KKR, Macquarie Group and O2 Power. 

FirstCry

India’s sovereign wealth fund National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) has held talks to invest in SoftBank-backed children’s e-commerce player FirstCry, The Economic Times report said citing three sources aware of the discussions. 

The investment will be through a secondary transaction estimated at up to $200 million at a valuation of a little over $2 billion, the same as in March when TPG, ChrysCapital and PremjiInvest invested around $315 million in the firm. 

This would take the total size of the ongoing round to around $450-500 million. 

“There could be other new investors besides NIIF, too. Those talks are under way, and it could be finalised in the next four to six weeks,” one of the persons aware of the talks said.  

GVK Bio

Goldman Sachs’ private equity arm is set to buy about 33% stake in Hyderabad-based GVK Biosciences at a valuation of Rs 7,300 crore ($1 billion), multiple people aware of the development told The Economic Times. 

Existing shareholder ChrysCapital will sell its 17% stake while promoters will dilute about 16%, and a formal announcement is expected in the coming weeks, they added. 

Other contenders include Carlyle Group, Warburg Pincus, General Atlantic and Quadria Capital, as well as Singapore’s Temasek Holdings, the report said. 

Lemon Tree Hotels

Warburg Pincus has ended a two-year-old joint venture (JV) with Lemon Tree Hotels for student housing and co-living spaces because apparently Warburg was not happy with the way the JV had progressed, Business Standard reported citing sources in the know. 

Lemon Tree promoters bought back the stake from Warburg, sources said, adding that Rahul Pandit, chief executive officer (CEO) and managing director (MD) of the company, also quit. 

Warburg held a 68 per cent stake in the joint venture while Lemon Tree owned 30 per cent. 

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