Grapevine: Byju’s may buy Doubtnut; IIFL Finance may sell wholesale lending portfolio

By Ankit Agarwal

  • 29 Jun 2020
Credit: Pexels

Byju’s is in advanced talks to acquire learning app Doubtnut as the Indian ed-tech giant looks to expand its reach in smaller cities and towns, TechCrunch and Entrackr reported.

Byju’s offer values Doubtnut at up to $150 million (Rs 1,133 crore at current exchange rate), persons in the know told TechCrunch.

In January, Gurugram-based Doubtnut, owned by Class 21A Technologies Private Limited, raised $15 million in its Series A round led by Byju’s backer Tencent Holdings.

A person in the know told TechCrunch that Facebook-backed Unacademy had held preliminary talks with Doubtnut but they are not engaging now.

Meanwhile, Fairfax-backed IIFL Finance is in talks with global funds including SSG Capital, Apollo Global Management and Cerberus Capital to sell its wholesale lending portfolio, people aware of the development told The Economic Times.

Talks are at an early stage. The company’s total portfolio is worth Rs 37,951 crore.

As of May 25, 58% of its loan book was under loan repayment moratorium, the company said in a recent presentation. The home loans segment constitutes 33%, business loans 21%, gold 24% and microfinance 9% of the total assets under management.

In another development, US private equity firm I Squared Capital, Canada’s Fairfax Financial, GMR Group, and Kalpataru Group are among the nine companies that have submitted initial bids for redevelopment of Gwalior, Nagpur, Amritsar and Sabarmati railway stations in the country.

Other successful applicants for the four stations include JKB, Monte Carlo, GR Infrastructure, Kalyan Toll, and Cube Construction, The Economic Times disclosed.

The cumulative indicative station redevelopment cost for the four projects will be Rs 1,298 crore ($172 million at current exchange rate).

Adani Group and Tata Realty, which were earlier scouting for these projects, skipped the bids.

The four stations have provisions for pre-determined user charges on passengers and visitors as one of the main revenue streams for the concessionaire of the redeveloped stations.

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