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Grapevine: GIC hires WestBridge exec for India fund; Tatas ask SIA to drop non-compete
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Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC is set to launch an India-dedicated public market fund of size up to $3 billion (Rs 22,137 crore), The Economic Times said, citing two people aware of the development.

GIC has hired Aditya Agarwal to head its new fund as managing director and is looking to a mid-2021 launch. Agarwal was principal at WestBridge Capital. Along with him, a team of four-five executives will also be formed for the new fund, said one of the persons cited above.

Prior to WestBridge, Agarwal was among the first members of the India team at International Finance Corporation.

In another development, Tata Sons is in talks with its joint-venture partner in Vistara, Singapore Airlines (SIA), to waive a non-compete clause and together bid for the beleaguered national carrier Air India.

The bid will be through Vistara, which is a full-fledged carrier, The Economic Times report said.

While it is likely that SIA will give its consent to the bid proposal, the Tata Group may also be prepared to go it alone if the partner does not agree with the plans, officials in the know told the publication. The group would go ahead with the Air India bid regardless of the fallout on the joint venture, they said.

If successful in acquiring Air India, the group is looking at consolidating all its airline businesses under a single entity, they added.

The agreement with SIA stipulates that Vistara has an exclusive right to undertake "full-service carrier" services within the overall aviation business of the Tata Group. A bid for Air India by the Tata Group on its own would violate this stipulation unless SIA gives a waiver, which might be difficult as Vistara competes with Air India.

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