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Grapevine: Carlyle may invest in Axis Bank; Petronas eyes Acme Solar’s assets
Photo Credit: Reuters

Private equity group Carlyle has initiated discussions with Axis Bank Ltd to infuse around $1 billion almost three years after the third-largest private lender received $1.8 billion in “confidence capital” from a consortium of investors led by Bain Capital, people with knowledge of the matter told The Economic Times.

The structure of the deal could be similar to the “confidence capital” raising in November 2017. The fund-raising could be a primary issuance through a preferential allotment that may lead to Carlyle acquiring up to 8% stake in the bank.

Currently, the economic slowdown is forcing banks to build provision buffers to tackle future asset slippages. However, talks are preliminary and may not lead to a deal, said one of the persons cited above.

Meanwhile, Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) is in talks to buy 100 MW of Karnataka-based solar assets from India’s Acme Solar for up to Rs 500 crore, two people aware of the development told The Economic Times.

In February, Acme had sold about 600 MW assets to UK-based private equity fund Actis for Rs 3,000 crore.

Petronas is likely to acquire the assets through its Indian unit, Amplus Energy Solutions.

In another development, Reliance Industries Ltd is looking to initiate an overseas listing of Jio Platforms Ltd, its digital and wireless business, people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg.

The unit has attracted more than $10 billion of investment within a month from marquee investors such as Facebook, Silver Lake Partners, General Atlantic and KKR.

Mukesh Ambani, the richest Asian, is preparing Jio Platforms Ltd for an initial public offering outside of India within the next couple of years, the people said.

An overseas listing could potentially give the digital business a higher valuation and allow existing investors to exit, the people added.

Tags: Carlyle Group, Axis Bank Ltd, Petroliam Nasional Berhad, Petronas, Acme Solar, Actis, Amplus Energy Solutions, Reliance Industries Ltd, Mukesh Ambani, Jio Platforms Ltd

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