Grapevine: Apax, others eye CSS Corp; Adani may infuse funds in Simplex Infra
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Private equity funds including Apax Partners and Kedaara Capital are in early discussions to acquire US-headquartered IT company CSS Corp., which is owned by Switzerland-based private equity fund Partners Group, at an expected valuation of $300 million (about Rs 2,150 crore at current exchange rate). The development was reported by The Economic Times.

In 2013, Partners had acquired about 92% stake in CSS for $270 million in a leveraged buyout from existing investors SAIF Partners, Goldman Sachs and Sierra Ventures. Rest of the stake is held by employees.

In another development, Adani Group is in talks with promoters of Simplex Infrastructures for a primary infusion of capital. A couple of private equity investors have also have expressed interest, two people familiar with the matter told The Economic Times.

The move is part of a stressed asset resolution plan that the Simplex Infra management is working on. The plan includes restructuring of existing loans and capital-raising through fresh shares.

If the talks fructify, the promoter holding would dilute from the present 49.8%, a Simplex official said adding that the company is exploring an option where the shareholding of promoter, the new investor and the public would be equal – 33.33% each.

Also, global investors including Brookfield, Omers, Mubadala and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) are in early discussions with Tata Power to invest up to $600 million (Rs 4,200 crore) in its renewable energy platform, people in the know told The Economic Times.

Tata Power has also approached Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), German financial services company Allianz, and National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), the report said.

Tata Power, the country’s largest integrated power company, had net debt of Rs 47,533 crore as on December 31.

Separately, National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL) is likely to make an initial public offering of more than Rs 1,000 crore in the next few months, three people in the know told The Economic Times

“Existing investors are looking to exit. The proposed IPO would be mostly an offer for sale,” said an executive with the direct knowledge of the matter.

IDBI Bank and National Stock Exchange are the largest shareholders with 30% and 24% stakes, respectively, as promoters. “Both NSE and IDBI Bank are looking to extinguish their full investments,” said another executive involved in the process.

Also, US-based private equity investor Blackstone has emerged as the front-runner to buy South City Mall, one of the largest malls in eastern India, people in the know told Business Standard. A dozen investors, including Blackstone, Xander, and GIC, have put in bids for around Rs 2,000 crore (about $280 million at current exchange rate) for the one million square foot mall

If the deal goes through, it will be one of the biggest mall deals in the past five years. Previously, in 2017, Blackstone had bought Elante mall in Chandigarh from the Carnival group for Rs 2,200 crore.

Separately, Axis Bank is looking to acquire around 20% stake in Max Life Insurance through a primary issue of over Rs 2,000 crore (about $280 million at current exchange rate), multiple persons in the know told the Economic Times.

Separately, Shubham Housing Development Finance Co. Ltd is looking to provide exit to its early backers through a funding round worth Rs 1,000 crore ($139 million at current exchange rate) where Rs 700 crore will account for growth capital, two people aware of the development told Mint.

 PremjiInvest, Wipro founder chairman Azim Premji’s investment firm, is the single-largest private equity investor with 45% stake. Other PE investors are Helion Ventures, Elevar Equity Mauritius and Motilal Oswal Financial Services. Stake is also held by promoters Sanjay Chaturvedi and Rupa Basu, and employees.

 “All the three PE investors, except PremjiInvest, are looking to offload a part or all of their holdings based on the valuation which is expected to be close to Rs 2,000 crore," one of the persons said asking not to be named.

 Shubham Housing last raised Rs 305 crore in a Series D round led by PremjiInvest in January 2018.

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