Grapevine: Blackstone to lose Amit Jain, may exit Mphasis
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Blackstone India senior managing director Amit Jain is set to quit but yet to formally put in his papers, people in the know told Bloomberg.

“Jain is required to serve at least till December-end of 2021,” said one of the persons.

He is likely to join rival PE firm Carlyle’s India unit as co-head, the people added.

Separately, Blackstone is weighing an exit from technology firm Mphasis, in which it acquired a majority stake from Hewlett Packard Enterprise in 2016, as the PE fund looks to take advantage of the rally in technology stocks, The Economic Times said citing people aware of the matter.

Blackstone has initiated discussions with at least three global investment banks — JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley and Citi— for a sell-side advisory mandate while KPMG has already begun vendor due diligence, said the people cited above.

The Mphasis stock has risen threefold since Blackstone acquired the controlling stake. It currently owns 56.16% of the Bengaluru-based IT company. Blackstone’s stake would be valued at Rs 13,752 crore based on the current market value of the stock.

However, the talks are preliminary in nature and may not lead to a transaction, said the people cited above.

Meanwhile, Bengaluru-based edtech start-up Byju’s is close to raising $200 million (Rs 1,483 crore) from US investment firms BlackRock and T Rowe Price at a valuation of $12 billion (Rs 88,967 crore), a Mint report said citing a person familiar with the matter.

The firm last raised over $500 million in September from a group of investors including private equity firm Silver Lake Partners along with existing investors General Atlantic, Owl Ventures and Tiger Global at a valuation of $10.8 billion.

Later, BlackRock, Sands Capital and Alkeon Capital joined as new investors, as part of the same round, with valuation climbing to $11.1 billion.

In another development, The Shapoorji Pallonji (SP) Group has again put its home hygiene products maker Eureka Forbes Ltd on the block after it suspended the process last year mid-way, a Mint report said.

The cash-strapped group has begun talks with potential buyers, including PE funds and a well-known consumer appliances company, two people aware of the development said.

“Eureka Forbes is one of the best-known consumer brands in India, and the SP Group was evaluating other structures to monetize the asset without divesting ownership by engaging with a large Canadian fund to raise debt by pledging the cash flows of Eureka Forbes as collateral," said one of the two people cited above. 

SP Group has decided to exit Eureka Forbes altogether and is seeking an enterprise valuation of around Rs 7,000 crore ($944 million), the people added.

Also, several top PE funds are in talks to acquire Mumbai-based speciality chemicals maker, Calibre Chemicals, at a valuation of over Rs 1,000 crore ($135 million), The Economic Times said.

Everstone Capital, Advent International, and Blackstone Group are evaluating if they will make a non-binding offer by early next month, multiple people aware of the development said. The promoters will keep a minority stake post the transaction, said one of the persons.

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