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Grapevine: ARCIL, others bid for Reliance Commercial Finance; Tatas’ Air India bid soon
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Thirteen investors submitted bids for Reliance Commercial Finance, which is undergoing an insolvency process, after lenders led by Bank of Baroda invited expressions of interest for the firm last month, people close to the development told The Economic Times.

Domestic and foreign investors submitted bids including JM Financial ARC, Edelweiss ARC, UGRO Capital and UV ARC, ARCIL, and Authum Investment & Infra Ltd, they said. 

Others include Assets Care and Reconstruction Enterprise, CFM ARC, Invest ARC, Rare ARC and International Asset Reconstruction Company, they added.

Reliance Commercial Finance is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Anil Ambani-controlled firm Reliance Capital.

Also, the Tata Group has begun due diligence on beleaguered national carrier Air India and may make a formal bid at the end of this month, people in the know told The Economic Times.

They said that it is too early to comment on funding or the possible business structure but there is no plan to bring in a financial partner.

Other airlines interested in the national carrier are understood to be lobbying to carve out Air India Express to enable them to bid for the low-cost airline, according to people familiar with the bidding process.

There has been speculation about the Tata group planning to merge AirAsia India (in which Tata Sons owns 51% stake) and Air India into a single entity after buying out joint venture partner Tony Fernandes’ AirAsia Berhad.

Meanwhile, four years after it was first suggested, the proposal of a reverse merger between IDFC First Bank and IDFC Ltd has been revived, two persons told The Economic Times.

As part of the reverse merger, holding company IDFC should be absorbed by IDFC First Bank on the grounds that it will simplify the structure. 

Under guidelines, a non-operative financial holding company is required to house a bank and other financial services units of a promoter.

The move is expected to benefit IDFC Ltd shareholders and unlock value, according to the people cited above.

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