Grapevine: KKR puts credit fund plan on ice; Warburg, others eye part-exit from CAMS
Photo Credit: VCCircle

United States-based private equity firm KKR & Co. Inc. has decided to put off plans to raise a Rs 5,000 crore ($697 million) India-focused credit fund, Business Standard reported. Citing people with knowledge of the situation, the report said the firm felt the macroeconomic environment in the country was not conducive for the launch of the fund.

The development comes after a senior KKR executive told VCCircle that the firm will continue to expand its credit activities in India. The PE firm operates two non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) in the country — KKR India Financial Services Pvt. Ltd, which lends to companies across sectors, and real estate-focused KKR India Asset Finance Pvt. Ltd.

Over the past two years, KKR’s domestic unit has recruited credit executives from Edelweiss Group, Piramal Group and Kotak Investment Banking to strengthen its operations. In December last year, for instance, it hired Sumanth Cidambi and Vijay Padmanabhan from Edelweiss.

Separately, several investors in mutual fund record-keeper Computer Age Management Services Ltd (CAMS) are looking to make a partial exit through an initial public offering that could raise up to Rs 1,500 crore ($209 million at current exchange rate), The Economic Times reported on Wednesday.

Chennai-headquartered CAMS will file IPO documentation within a couple of weeks.

Through the IPO, private equity firms Warburg Pincus and Faering Capital, housing finance company HDFC and bourse NSE's strategic investment arm are expected to pare stakes, the report said, citing people aware of the development.

While Warburg Pincus is the largest shareholder with a 43.5% stake, HDFC holds around 12.5%. NSE Strategic Investment Corp. has a 37.5% stake, and Faering Capital holds around 4%, with the remaining held by others.

Separately, Capri Group has picked up around 4.9% stake in Lakshmi Vilas Bank, The Economic Times reported.

The move has resulted in Capri emerging as one of Lakshmi Vilas Bank’s largest non-promoter shareholders along with Indiabulls Housing Finance, which also owns nearly 5%.

Capri picked up the stake across a series of transactions over the last five to six months.

Shares of the private-sector bank jumped during intraday trading on Wednesday, up 4.01% at Rs 20.75 at the time of writing this report. News of Capri’s stake accumulation comes after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) turned down a merger deal between the bank and Indiabulls.

As per regulations, a holding of 5% or more in a private-sector bank requires RBI approval. Lakshmi Vilas Bank is also being investigated by the police for alleged misappropriation of funds by its directors.

In a separate report, The Economic Times said that the Coffee Day Group is looking to sell its controlling stake in multimodal logistics solutions provider Sical. Citing people with knowledge of the situation, the report said that the group was also exploring options regarding operational businesses to pare its debt.

Coffee Day Enterprises Ltd currently holds around 53% stake in Sical Logistics Ltd. The company has appointed ICICI Securities to work out the nuances of the sale of the logistics solutions provider’s assets, and to suggest whether the company should first sell individual projects or raise fresh equity funding from a strategic partner.

In September, Sical was reportedly in exploratory talks with DP World (formerly Dubai Ports World) and some other investors including Adani Group for the sale of assets including Sical Iron Ore Terminals Ltd to slash Coffee Day’s debt.

Sical’s assets in Ennore’s Kamarajar Port, including dedicated iron ore and coal terminals at the facility, are valued at up to Rs 800 crore (around $110.8 million). Sical was acquired by Coffee Day in 2011.

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