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Grapevine: Haldiram in race for Lavasa; RIL’s fibre asset sale plan hits a snag
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Haldiram Snacks has made an offer to take over Lavasa Corporation, a media report said, triggering a rally in the shares of the bankrupt township developer’s parent company.

The snacks maker has offered to infuse Rs 2,046 crore through a consortium with Pioneer Facor IT Infradevelopers and Sansar Property LLP, Business Standard reported.

Pune-based builder Aniruddha Deshpande and UV Asset Reconstruction Company are also in the race for Lavasa, the report said, adding that the debt-laden company’s lenders would decide on the three offers on Thursday.

Shares of Lavasa parent Hindustan Construction Company surged by the maximum daily permissible limit of 20% after the report to trade at Rs 10.06 apiece on the BSE.

Lavasa has built a hill town about 65 km from Pune in Maharashtra, but the project had faced several hurdles due to delays in receiving environmental and other regulatory clearances.

The company was dragged to a bankruptcy court last year after defaulting on its debt. It owed about Rs 5,559 crore to 18 lenders as of September and more than Rs 420 crore to about 1,000 homebuyers, its website shows.

In another development, The Economic Times reported that Reliance Industries Ltd’s (RIL) talks with potential investors to sell a controlling stake in its fibre assets have stalled due to differences in commercial and operating terms.

Citing multiple people in the know, the report said that RIL was in talks for Jio Digital Fibre with a group led by Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA). The group also included infrastructure-focussed private equity firm I Squared Capital and Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC.

GIC has also been evaluating joining Brookfield as a co-investor in Jio’s towers, the report said.

RIL wants to sell a stake in the fibre assets as part of a plan to reduce its net debt to zero. It is also separately looking to sell a stake in its telecom tower business as well as the flagship oil and petrochemicals business.

In another report, The Economic Times said that lenders to Essel Group’s promoters had expressed reservations about the lack of information regarding the sale of an additional 10% stake in Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd.

The lenders have also rejected a proposal to park the promoters’ stake in an escrow account till the transaction is completed, the report said, citing three people familiar with the matter.

Essel promoters, led by media tycoon Subhash Chandra, owe about Rs 7,000 crore to the lenders. The promoters had submitted a proposal to the lenders to transfer their pledged shares to a separate account. However, the lenders insisted on knowing the details about the buyers and the deal value.

In August, the promoters had agreed to sell up to 11% of in Zee Entertainment for Rs 4,224 crore to Invesco Oppenheimer Developing Markets Fund.

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