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Grapevine: Byju’s nears deal for Toppr; Consortium to buy Reliance Home Finance assets
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Byju’s, the edtech unicorn backed by several marquee domestic and international investors, is nearing a deal to acquire early- and high-school education peer Toppr, Entrackr reported.

Byju’s and Toppr have been in talks for more than two months regarding a potential acquisition of the latter with a deal valuing it at more than $150 million (about Rs 1,090 crore), the report said, citing three people aware of the developments.

The transaction is expected to take place on a cash-and-equity basis, with cash forming a significant component. Byju’s reportedly sees Toppr as a “formidable player” in the K-12 space and believes that the acquisition will strengthen its position there.

Toppr, set up in 2013 and led by Zishaan Hayath, raised Rs 350 crore (about $48 million) in July 2020 in a Series D fundraise led by UAE-based Foundation Holdings.

The successful completion of this deal will mark another big-ticket acquisition for Byju’s, which has snapped up several firms in the past year as it seeks to consolidate its position in the domestic edtech market.

In January, the firm reportedly signed a deal to acquire test-preparation leader Aakash Educational Services Ltd for $1 billion (about Rs 7,271 crore). Last year, it struck a $300 million (about Rs 2,181 crore) acquisition deal with the coding-focused WhiteHat Jr., delivering stellar returns to the edtech firm’s investors.

In a separate development, a consortium led by Asset Reconstruction Company (India) Ltd and US-based Avenue Capital has agreed to acquire the assets of Reliance Home Finance Ltd for Rs 1,800 crore (about $247 million), The Economic Times reported.

The agreement was reached sometime last week, with the two sides having signed into it as well, the report said, citing people familiar with the process.

The development comes just two weeks after reports said that five bidders — Kotak Special Situations Fund, Capri Global, Arcil, Acre ARC and Authum Investment and Infrastructure — had submitted final binding offers to buy the debt-laden financier.

The sale is part of the overall resolution process of Reliance Capital, which is being sold by Vistra ITCL Debenture Trustee, the entity that represents a majority of its creditors.

Meanwhile, Asia-focused alternative asset manager Tano Capital has sold a small portion of its stake in a listed portfolio firm, according to stock exchange bulk deal data.

The firm, through its entity Tano India Private Equity Fund II, has sold 3 lakh shares in luggage maker Safari Industries (India) Ltd at a price of Rs 540 (about $7.42) per share. This translates to a value of Rs 16.2 crore (about $2.22 million).

As of the quarter ended December 2020, the fund held a 5.15% stake in the company. Following this sale, its stake in Safari has come down to roughly 3.81%, per back-of-the-envelope calculations by VCCircle.

This is not the first time that Tano Capital has sold its stake in the luggage maker. In December 2019, VCCircle reported that the private equity firm had sold about a 6.7% stake, nearly one-third of its original holding in the company.

Tano had invested nearly Rs 50 crore (about $6.87 million) in Safari in June 2014. It sold over a quarter of its stake in the company in February 2018 for Rs 51.2 crore (about $7 million).

Separately, Clariant Chemicals will likely acquire a 51% stake in the speciality chemicals business of petrochemicals firm India Glycols Ltd, CNBC-TV18 reported on Tuesday.

The transaction is likely to be valued at around Rs 1,000 crore (about $137 million), the news channel reported, citing people familiar with the developments. Through this deal, India Glycols Ltd will raise approximately Rs 500 crore (around $68.71 million).

India Glycols maintains a presence in three verticals - natural active pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, and speciality chemicals. The company reported consolidated net sales of Rs 5,972.65 crore for the 2019-20 financial year, with net profits of Rs 114.66 crore.

Clariant Chemicals (India) Ltd is one of the largest producers of pigments, textile chemicals, and leather chemicals in the country. It reported net sales of Rs 757.28 crore for the 2019-20 fiscal, with profits of Rs 50.71 crore.

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