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Grapevine: JM Baxi, others eye SCI privatisation; KKR, others may join bad bank
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The United States-based Safesea Group and ship operator JM Baxi & Co have submitted expressions of interest (EoIs) to participate in the privatisation process of the Shipping Corporation of India, The Economic Times reported on Monday.

Great Eastern Shipping, India’s largest private ship operator, is also expected to take part in the process, the report said, citing sources aware of the developments. Company promoter Bharat Sheth declined to comment on whether it had submitted an EoI.

RBSA Capital Advisors and L&L Partners are advising the government on the sale of the company. Safesea, promoted by SV Anchan, is a New Jersey-based company that has been operating for at least the last two decades. 

JM Baxi is one of the oldest shipping operators in India, having been set up in 1913. Its investors include US-based private equity firm Bain Capital.

The publicly-listed Shipping Corporation of India is among the four public sector companies that the government had identified for privatisation during the last financial year, the other three being Air India, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd, and Container Corporation of India.

Meanwhile, prominent private equity firms and development finance institutions may join the ‘bad bank’ proposed by the government in this year’s budget to help resolve non-performing assets, The Economic Times reported.

Some of these firms include KKR, BlackRock, Brookfield, and International Finance Corporation, the report said, citing people.

Separately, Baring Private Equity Asia is exploring an exit from cash logistics company CMS Info Systems, five years after it had acquired the firm, The Economic Times reported.

Baring PE Asia had acquired American private equity firm Blackstone’s 57% stake in CMS in 2015 for $250 million, according to reports at the time. The company had received SEBI’s nod for an initial public offering two years later.

Now, the Hong Kong-based buyout firm is in discussions with investment banks including JPMorgan to launch a formal sale process, with a focus on other PE firms and strategic parties, the report said, citing people.

Baring PE Asia is reportedly expecting a $750-800 million (around Rs 5,500-6,000 crore) valuation for CMS. Per the report, the cash logistics firm has grown 25% on a compound annual basis. 

According to VCCEdge, the company reported consolidated net sales of Rs 1,383 crore and post-tax profits of Rs 134.7 crore for the 2019-20 financial year.

In another development, marquee investment firm Tiger Global is in talks to lead a $100 million (around Rs 733 crore) round in financial-technology startup Groww, which is likely to value the company at over $1 billion.

Previously, Bengaluru-based Groww had raised $30 million (Rs 220 crore) in a Series C funding in September last year. The round was led by YC Continuity, with participation from existing investors Sequoia India, Ribbit Capital, and Propel Ventures.

In this potential fresh fundraise, Tiger Global is likely to commit $50 million, with the remaining capital coming from other existing backers, The Economic Times reported, citing a person.

Groww says its platform currently offers stock broking and direct mutual fund investments, as well as derivative contracts, gold, and high-yielding fixed deposits. Tiger Global is no stranger to this space, with the firm already having invested in two of the startup’s peers, INDwealth and Upstoxx.

In another development, The Economic Times reported that Tiger Global is in talks to lead a $80-100 million Series D round in health-tech company Pristyn Care.

Prior to this, the Gurugram-based company had in September last year raised $11.66 million (around Rs 86.14 crore) in Series C capital from Sequoia Capital, Hummingbird Ventures, and Epiq Capital.

In this potential Series D infusion, Tiger Global is expected to invest $40 million, with other investors bringing in the remaining capital, the report said, citing a person.

Founded in 2018 by Harsimarbir Singh, Vaibhav Kapoor and Garima Sawhney, Pristyn Care operates an asset-light healthcare platform that has  conducted over 20,000 surgeries and has more than 140 partner hospitals across 22 cities.

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