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Grapevine: M&M eyes PE cash for EV biz; Amazon, others circle Future Group logistics biz
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Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) is looking to attract private equity funding for its decade-old electric vehicle business, which marks a sharp shift in its strategy given that it was open to a large stake sale in the business about six months back, The Economic Times reported.

M&M managing director Pawan Goenka said while the company would not sell a stake in Mahindra Electric or monetise its assets, it is open to funding via private equity or similar investors.

Banking executives told the publication that the quantum of private equity sourcing may go up to $100 million (about Rs 760 crore) over a 2-3 year period.

In February, Mahindra Electric was looking for a private equity investor or a strategic investor to scale up its operations and was in talks with Japanese giant SoftBank that could result in the sale of a minority stake.

Meanwhile, Kishore Biyani-founded Future Group, which was seeking buyers for its logistics business, has got into preliminary discussions with investors to exit Future Supply Chain Solutions Ltd, persons in the know told Business Standard.

These investors include Canadian pension fund Brookfield, US-based Carlyle, e-commerce platform Amazon, and Japanese giant Nippon Express (which already has 22% stake), the persons said.

Since it is a non-core business, the group wants to exit it in order to manage group and promoter debt. The sale mandate was given to investment bank Ambit Capital.

Separately, Reliance Industries is closing in on a deal to acquire stakes in some units of Future Group that could be announced as early as next month, people familiar with the matter told Business Standard.

Though Future Retail Ltd has attracted suitors, including Amazon, Reliance’s offer to buy into the group’s holding company is likely to sway the outcome in its favour, the people said.

A successful deal may draw the battle lines between Amazon and Reliance.

In August 2019, Seattle-based Amazon agreed to purchase 49% of one of Future Group’s unlisted firms, allowing it to buy into Future Retail after a period of between three and 10 years.

Further, last month it was reported that Biyani is offering to sell a significant stake in Future Retail to Amazon to pare debt levels.

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