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Grapevine: Italy’s Eni eyes renewables; ONGC woos ExxonMobil
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Rome-headquartered Eni SpA is exploring the feasibility of participating in the world’s largest clean energy programme, eyeing gigawatt-scale investments in India, a Mint report cited two people aware of the development as saying.

Eni is targeting 55 gigawatts of installed capacity globally by 2050.

Oil giants such as French energy giant Total SA and Malaysia’s state-run oil and gas company Petroliam Nasional Bhd, or Petronas, have already invested in India. Thailand’s PTT Group is looking to acquire a stake in ReNew Power from Goldman Sachs Group.

Norway’s Equinor ASA, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Russia’s Rosneft have also shown interest in investing in India’s clean energy sector. Petronas is also looking to invest in Tata Power’s renewable energy infrastructure investment trust (InvIT).

Meanwhile, Oil and Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC) has offered energy giant ExxonMobil a participating interest in about half-a-dozen exploration blocks, a report in The Economic Times cited sources with knowledge of the deliberations as saying.

ONGC recently wrote to ExxonMobil, asking if it would like to be a joint venture partner in exploration acreages in the Cauvery basin and Mumbai offshore, said one of the persons. ONGC is expected to offer a significant minority stake to ExxonMobil in these blocks.

ONGC signed a preliminary agreement with ExxonMobil in October 2019, which proposed joint technical studies and cooperation in difficult oil fields, the Indian firm’s existing exploration blocks and joint bidding for new acreages.

In another development, gourmet meat startup Licious is looking to raise $80 million in an equity round of funding at a valuation of $800 million from new and existing investors, sources close to the development told The Economic Times.

TPG, General Atlantic, PremjiInvest and Multiples Alternate Asset Management are in talks to invest in the company, they said.

In December 2019, Licious raised $30 million in a Series E round led by Singapore-based Vertex Growth Fund with participation from existing investors 3one4 Capital, Bertelsmann India Investments, Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia & India and Sistema Asia Fund.

Also, Molson Coors, one of North America’s leading lager makers, has put its India business on the block. Citing policy inconsistency in states such as Bihar, the company has signalled its intention of exiting the domestic market.

The owner of Miller, Coors, Blue Moon and Cobra beers witnessed diminishing sales in India due to the pandemic, sources said. It is in talks with a couple of South India-based breweries.

“That work has been ongoing and we will share more information when a sale occurs. However, we will not engage in speculation and rumours,” a global spokesperson for Molson Coors confirmed.

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