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Grapevine: Govt mulls Bhel stake sale; Blackstone closes in on Embassy Industrial Parks
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The Union government may consider Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (Bhel), Mecon Ltd and Andrew Yule and Co. Ltd among candidates for the next round of disinvestment, Mint reported, citing two people aware of the development.

The stake sales in the three companies will bolster the government’s efforts to raise funds for the next fiscal and overcome the tepid progress made so far to garner Rs 1.75 trillion (about $24 billion) from disinvestment receipts.

Key transactions such as the sale of Air India Ltd and Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd (BPCL) have been pushed to next year.

Meanwhile, private equity major Blackstone Group is looking to acquire Embassy Industrial Parks from Warburg Pincus and Embassy Group at an enterprise valuation of $700 million (Rs 5,100 crore). The development was reported by The Economic Times, which cited two people with direct knowledge of the matter.

This could be the largest-ever logistics and warehousing deal in India that could make Blackstone the country’s No. 1 warehousing space landlord with over 40 million sq. ft in logistic parks assets and the biggest retail assets owner after the conclusion of its $1.5 billion deal with Prestige Group.

Embassy Industrial Parks — a 70:30 joint venture between Warburg Pincus and Embassy — has 22 million sq. ft in assets.

“The transaction between Blackstone, Warburg Pincus and Embassy Group has been finalised with all the key contours and is expected to be announced in the next few days,” said one of the persons cited above.

In another development, GoAir, the budget airline of the Wadia Group, plans to launch its initial public offering to raise about Rs 3,000 crore (about $411 million), The Economic Times reported, citing two people aware of the matter.

Citigroup, ICICI Securities and Morgan Stanley have been appointed as bankers for reviving the share sale plan that has been deferred several times since 2017, a top Wadia group official said.

“We are looking at raising long-term funds and reducing debt. The Wadia Group will likely dilute 30% of its stake in GoAir,” the official added.

Also, Adani Airport Holdings Ltd (AAHL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Adani Enterprises, has acquired a 23.5% stake in Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) from ACSA Global and Bid Services Division (Mauritius), or Bidvest, for Rs 1,685.25 crore (about $231 million).

AAHL had previously announced that it will acquire this stake from Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) and Bidvest Group after acquiring a controlling stake (50.5%) in MIAL from GVK Airport Developers Ltd. Airports Authority of India will continue to hold the remaining 26% stake.

Separately, FMCG major Emami Ltd is looking for acquisitions both in India and abroad to strengthen its footprint, while also tapping opportunities arising out of the coronavirus pandemic, company director Harsha Vardhan Agarwal told PTI.

“We are always looking for opportunities to invest and also if needed buy majority (stakes) in digital-first brands and companies,” he added.

Also, Indian venture capital firm Blume Ventures is in talks to raise a Rs 400 crore (about $54.8 million) secondary fund to buy out its own holdings in older portfolio companies and double down on a few of its existing investments, people familiar with the matter told Moneycontrol.

The fund will give an exit option to early investors from whom Blume had raised money to invest in businesses.

This fund-raising — unprecedented in the Indian venture capital space — allows Blume to retain its stake in startups with a new set of investors.

Blume plans to use the proceeds of the fund — named Fund 1x and launched in December 2020 — to reshuffle the investment structure in 8-12 companies, according to the people cited above.

The new fund will function as a lower-risk, lower-return investment vehicle compared with the early-stage funds Blume typically runs. It expects to generate an internal rate of return of 25%.

Fund 1x will have an investment period of two years and a five-year life cycle that can be extended to seven with the approval of LPs, the Moneycontrol report said.

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