Grapevine: GIC, Carlyle among front runners for SBI General; Brookfield eyes Suzlon
Photo Credit: Reuters

Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC and five private equity firms have been shortlisted to buy a 26% stake in SBI General Insurance Company Ltd, a media report said.

PremjiInvest, Carlyle are ChrysCapital are among the other potential buyers for the stake that Insurance Australia Group is planning to sell, The Economic Times reported, citing two people close to the development.

The report pegged the estimated size of the deal around Rs 3,000 crore. This would value SBI General Insurance around Rs 12,000 crore.

Goldman Sachs is running the sale process and the deal could be announced within a couple of weeks, the report said. 

SBI General is a joint venture between State Bank of India (70%) and Insurance Australia Group. It commenced operations in 2010. Last year, the state-run bank sold a 4% stake in the insurer to a private equity fund and PremjiInvest, the family office of Wipro Ltd chairman Azim Premji. The bank has been looking to take the unit public.

Meanwhile, Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management Inc. is looking to acquire a majority stake in wind turbine maker Suzlon Energy Ltd, a media report said.

Citing people involved with the development, The Economic Times said the deal would help Suzlon pay off its debt under a one-time settlement it has proposed to its lenders.

Suzlon’s settlement offer includes selling a stake to Brookfield and getting a considerable amount of debt waiver by lenders, the report said. 

The renewable energy company has net term debt of Rs 7,761 crore and working capital debt of Rs 3,380 crore. It had defaulted on its debt repayment due by end-March.

For Brookfield, a deal would expand its presence in India where it has invested or has expressed interest in a range of sectors including infrastructure, hospitality, real estate and renewable energy.

In another development, Mint reported that Café Coffee Day founder VG Siddhartha has postponed his plan to sell a real estate venture to private equity firm Blackstone.

Citing three people familiar with the developments, Mint said Siddhartha deferred the plan after selling his 20% stake in software services firm Mindtree Ltd to Larsen & Toubro Ltd.

Blackstone, along with developer Salarpuria Sattva, had been in talks to buy Tanglin Developments Ltd for about Rs 2,700-2,800 crore. Tanglin owns the Global Village tech park located off Mysuru Road.

In another report, Mint said South African technology investor Naspers Ltd and Indian fintech startup Capital Float have scrapped talks for an investment. Naspers had planned to invest as much as $200 million in the digital lending platform, the report said.

The report cited Capital Float co-founder Sashank Rishyasringa as saying that the startup was indeed in talks with Naspers and its unit PayU for an investment but that the discussions had ended. “However, the parties have mutually decided that the best route to collaborate would be through business initiatives in the future rather than via a strategic investment,” he said.

Capital Float counts Amazon, Sequoia Capital India, SAIF Partners, Aspada Investments, Creation Investments Capital Management LLC and Ribbit Capital among its investors. 

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