Grapevine: Future group to sell some brands; Adani reconsiders investment plans

By Ankit Agarwal

  • 03 Jun 2020

Kishore Biyani’s Future group plans to sell some of its prominent in-house brands like Cover Story under its apparel retail business Future Lifestyle Fashion Ltd and Tasty Treat under its snacks unit Future Consumer Ltd, two people aware of the development told Mint

This is a part of a larger effort to resolve the group’s balance sheet stress by reducing its debt. 

In a recent report, Care Ratings said Future Lifestyle Fashion is exploring various options to tide over debt issues, including selling some of its brands.

The Future group is also seeking buyers for its stake in an insurance joint venture apart from offering to sell more stake in Future Retail to Amazon.

The group’s stake in Future Supply Chain Solutions Ltd has also been put on the block as part of these efforts.

Meanwhile, the Adani group is reconsidering its plans amid the pandemic including investments in the Krishnapatnam and Dighi ports besides cold chain management company Snowman Logistics, people in the know told Mint.

“Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone wanted to buy 75% stake in Krishnapatnam Port Co. Ltd but is now renegotiating deal terms to buy 30% stake,” one of the persons said.

Billionaire Gautum Adani-led group may also delay the takeover of Guwahati and Jaipur airports, which it had bid for successfully last year. 

Similarly, a long-awaited transfer of solar power assets from the Essel group to Adani’s renewable energy arm is also pending.

Separately, the government has been advised by state-backed think tank Niti Aayog to privatise a few state-run banks and to halt future bailouts from taxpayer money, three people familiar with the plans told The Economic Times.

Possible candidates include Punjab & Sind Bank, Bank of Maharashtra and Indian Overseas Bank, which are not part of the ongoing consolidation plan. It is also suggested that select industrial houses should be given banking licences with the caveat that they don’t lend to group firms.

Meanwhile, ReNew Power is likely to sell its 300 megawatt of wind farms in Karnataka to UK government-backed Ayana Renewable for Rs 1,500 crore ($200 million at current exchange rate), people aware of the matter told The Economic Times.

Sale of the wind farms could help ReNew reduce debt and generate cash to meet upcoming financial obligations such as redemption of bonds issued to overseas investors, the persons said.

ReNew’s wind farms in Karnataka are located in four districts — Raichur, Bijapur, Belgaum and Bellary. The company may retain up to 300 megawatt of wind farms after the deal with Ayana, going by one of the persons.

Separately, Yes Bank has hired six investment banks to raise about Rs 10,000 crore ($1,330 million at current exchange rate), two people involved in the process told The Economic Times.

The troubled bank, under a government-approved scheme, was taken under control by an SBI-led consortium of banks, replacing its board.  

Yes Bank needs to raise at least Rs 4,000 crore of equity capital this year to comply with mandatory requirements, CEO Prashant Kumar had said. 

The bank needs more capital despite a government-initiated Rs 10,000 crore bailout led by SBI and a Rs 8,415 crore write-down of additional Tier-1 bonds that helped it post a notional net profit of Rs 2,629 crore in the three months ended March 31, 2020.

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