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Grapevine: KKR looks to pick up 20% stake in Piramal’s pharma biz
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Piramal Enterprises is looking to sell up to 20% stake in its pharmaceuticals business at a valuation of Rs 3,500 crore and is in advanced talks with private equity firm KKR, Business Standard reported.

The move is part of Piramal’s efforts to cut debt and prepare a cash chest worth Rs 9,000 crore to meet financial liabilities.

The group is also scouting for buyers to take up the entire stake in Shriram group entities before March 2021 at a valuation of Rs 5,500 crore, the report added.

The company raised Rs 3,630 crore through a rights issue which was part of a larger fundraising round worth Rs 5,400 crore.

It also sold its healthcare analytics unit Decision Resources Group to US-based Clarivate Analytics Plc for Rs 6,750 crore during the first quarter of 2020.

Meanwhile, Flipkart Group chief financial officer (CFO) and senior vice-president, Emily McNeal, who came on board as part of Walmart’s acquisition of the Indian e-commerce firm has quit the company, two people in the know told The Economic Times.

She held the position of Walmart’s M&A head before joining the Flipkart in September 2018.

McNeal’s role will now be divided between Sriram Venkataraman, who is expected to take over as the CFO of Flipkart and Adarsh Nahata who is currently PhonePe’s CFO, the people cited above said. 

Also, Tim Bray, vice president and veteran engineer at Amazon.com Inc.’s cloud-computing division, has resigned in solidarity, according to a Bloomberg report.

On his blog, Bray said he quit “in dismay at Amazon firing whistle-blowers who were making noise about warehouse employees frightened of COVID-19.”

The decision will likely cost him more than $1 million in loss of salary and unvested Amazon stock, “not to mention the best job I ever had,” he said.

Amazon has said the workers were fired for violating corporate policy forbidding them from speaking publicly about internal matters. The company declined to comment on Bray’s resignation.

In the essay, Bray said, “Firing whistleblowers isn’t just a side-effect of macroeconomic forces, nor is it intrinsic to the function of free markets”.

Bray, whose last day was Friday, also said that Amazon Web Services, the division he worked for, treated workers humanely and is by and large an ethical organization.

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