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Grapevine: Chiratae to float seed vehicle; JM Financial raises second PE fund
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Chiratae Ventures, formerly known as IDG Ventures India, is launching a separate $35 million (Rs 250 crore at current exchange rate) seed fund to get exposure in high-growth emerging sectors, people familiar with the matter told The Economic Times.

“The intent is to focus on cheque sizes of up to $1 million,” a person briefed on the matter said.

Earlier in the month, World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) said it planned to invest $20 million in Mauritius-incorporated Chiratae Ventures International Fund IV LLC and India-domiciled alternative investment fund Chiratae Ventures Master Fund IV.

Also, JM Financial Private Equity has closed its second India-focused fund with commitments of more than Rs 600 crore ($84 million at current exchange rate) from Quilvest Group and Small Industries Development Bank of India (Sidbi), among others, two people aware of the matter told DealStreetAsia.

The PE arm of Nimesh Kampani-led JM Financial Group had achieved the first close of its second fund at Rs 300 crore in April 2018.

Luxembourg-based global wealth manager and PE firm Quilvest invested more than Rs 100 crore in the second fund, along with Indian development financier Sidbi that put in another Rs 122 crore, said one of the two persons.

Among the other limited partners were Federal Bank Ltd and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard), and some family offices and independent investors, the report added.

Meanwhile, debt-laden textile and yarn company Sintex Industries’ lenders are in talks with three potential bidders in an effort to recover their dues totalling Rs 6,500 crore ($910 million at current exchange rate).

Balkrishan Goenka-controlled Welspun India, Rajinder Gupta-owned Trident Group and Paul Oswal-controlled Vardhman Group have been approached by the bankers to buy the debt-laden company, three people familiar with the matter told The Economic Times.

State-owned Punjab National Bank is the lead lender to Sintex Industries. However, initial bids for the company have been short of lenders’ expectations at 50% of the loan value, the report said. The Sintex Group as a whole owes banks a total of Rs 10,000 crore.

“The next option for us is to go to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), but because the NCLT process is long and expensive, banks are reluctant to go directly for it,” a banker involved in the negotiations said.

In another development, OYO Hotels and Homes is in talks with financial institutions to borrow $200 million (Rs 1,430 crore at current exchange rate) to buy premium and luxury hotels in the US, two people familiar with the matter told Mint.

After buying Hooters Casino Hotel in Las Vegas last month, it has identified the premium hotels’ segment as its area of focus outside India, the people said.

“OYO is going to create a separate entity in the US to help it acquire and run four and five-star hotel assets in America,” said one of the two people.

OYO’s strategy to raise debt to buy hotels is not unique to the US. It has followed a similar strategy in India and Europe. “They have raised a couple of property funds where SoftBank has put in money as well to buy hospitality and other assets here in India and other countries,” said a person familiar with the firm’s strategy, requesting anonymity. “The idea is that they are going to be tenants of these properties, so they want to create real estate investment trust (REIT)-like returns via ownership.”

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