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Grapevine: Blackstone, CDPQ in deal news; PhonePe, Cred seek funding
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Billionaire Yuri Milner’s DST Global, Ribbit Capital, Falcon Edge, Green Oaks, China’s Hillhouse Capital, and others have held talks with PhonePe, the digital payments arm of homegrown e-commerce major Flipkart, to participate in its upcoming funding round estimated to be $1 billion in size, three people in the know told The Times of India.

Walmart-owned Flipkart’s platform PhonePe is said to be looking at a valuation in the range of $8-12 billion and is looking to dilute about 10% stake, one of the people mentioned above said. Discussions with Tiger Global Management and Tencent are still under way for their participation in the fund-raise.

Meanwhile, US-based private equity giant Blackstone Group is looking to acquire the remaining 50% stake in Indiabulls Real Estate Ltd’s commercial properties for up to Rs 4,800 crore (about $681 million at current exchange rate), three persons in the know told The Economic Times, adding that the transaction is expected to conclude in the next few weeks.

In March 2018, VCCircle had reported that Blackstone Group LP was buying 50% stake in two subsidiaries of listed developer Indiabulls Real Estate.

The acquired assets will be added to the portfolio of Embassy Office Parks Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), Blackstone’s joint venture with Embassy Group.

Separately, US-based Ebix and India-headquartered MakeMyTrip are in the race to acquire cash-strapped travel company Cox & Kings, two people familiar with the development told The Economic Times.

Talks are being held to acquire 21% stake held by the promoter Peter Kerkar and 18.55% stake held by Yes Bank after invoking pledged shares, the people cited above said.

The valuation will depend on the haircut taken by the lenders.

While this acquisition will be a natural extension for MakeMyTrip to ramp up its business by acquiring sticky customers, Ebix, which acquired online travel company Yatra, will be looking to swiftly ramp up its local operations.

Also, Canadian pension fund CDPQ and Sekura Roads, backed by Edelweiss Infrastructure, are looking to acquire seven ongoing hybrid annuity model (HAM) projects of Delhi-based GR Infraprojects at an enterprise valuation of up to Rs 4,500 crore ($638.6 million at current exchange rate), two people aware of the talks told The Economic Times.

In an HAM project, the government provides 40% of a project’s cost, while the remaining is borne by the company. The projects are: 80 km Phagwara-Rupnagar Section of NH-344A in Punjab; 39 km Akkalkot-Solapur and 45 km Sangli-Solapur sections in Maharashtra; 61 km Handia-Varanasi section of NH-2 in Uttar Pradesh; 117 km Porbandar-Dwarka section of NH-8E and Dwarka-Khambaliya-Dewaria section in Gujarat; and 69 km Gundugolanu-Devarapalli-Kovvuru section of NH-16.

Last year, GR Infraprojects had filed draft paper with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to raise an estimated Rs 1,800 crore through an initial public offering (IPO). However, the plans to go public were shelved.

Meanwhile, private equity firm Everstone Capital is planning to launch a Rs 700 crore ($99.3 million at current exchange rate) IPO of its quick service restaurant chain Burger King India, two people aware of the development told Mint.

Everstone will file the draft prospectus for the IPO with SEBI in the next two months, one of the persons said, adding that the IPO will include both primary and secondary share sales.

Everstone owns a majority stake in Burger King India.

In another development, fintech firm Cred, which incentivises credit card payments with reward points, is close to raising $125 million (about Rs 881 crore at current exchange rate) in its Series A round of fundraise at a post-money valuation of up to $500 million, two people aware of the matter told Mint.

Existing investors Sequoia Capital, US-based Ribbit Capital, and Apoletto Asia, the personal investment vehicle of billionaire Yuri Milner, have already invested $65 million in the first tranche, said the first of the two people cited above.

New investors like China’s Hillhouse Capital and US-based Tiger Global Management are expected to join the round.

Cred was set up by Freecharge co-founder Kunal Shah and is owned by Dreamplug Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

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