Grapevine: MobiKwik starts IPO process; Carlyle frontrunner for Mphasis deal

Fintech startup MobiKwik has appointed investment banks ICICI Securities and IIFL, besides a few law firms, to kickstart work on its draft red herring prospectus, Mint reported, citing two people in the know.

MobiKwik may bring a few more investment banks on board to manage the domestic initial public offering (IPO), said one of the two people.

Several Indian startups in the fintech and consumer payments space, such as Paytm and PhonePe, are planning to go public.

“The IPO will help the company raise fresh funds to continue its growth trajectory, but also provide an exit for its earlier investors. A large part of the IPO is expected to be a sale of shares by existing investors,” said the second person cited above.

Meanwhile, global private equity major Carlyle has emerged as a frontrunner to buy Blackstone-owned Mphasis Ltd and has tapped a clutch of banks and one pension fund to finance its bid for the deal that could be the largest buyout in the sector, people in the know told The Economic Times.

Carlyle is negotiating with Deutsche Bank, Barclays, Standard Chartered Bank, Nomura and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) for the buyout financing. JP Morgan, which is advising the fund, may also join the consortium. While a CPPIB arm is likely to offer mezzanine debt, others are likely to come on board as senior lenders.

Other suitors including Bain Capital and Brookfield are still in the race and it is possible that they might team up to make a bid or their limited partners — Abu Dhabi Investment Authority or GIC — may step in as well, sources close to Blackstone said. UK investment firm Permira has opted out.

The sources said Goldman Sachs PE has also shown last-minute interest to be part of a consortium and is said to have offered a minimum $500 million (about Rs 3,619 crore) funding commitment.

The due date for submitting binding offers is scheduled for Tuesday.

In another development, Reliance Industries’ Jio Platforms is finalising an investment of up to $200 million (about Rs 1,447 crore) in home-grown venture capital fund Kalaari Capital, two people aware of the matter told The Economic Times.

The Mukesh Ambani-led conglomerate has closed a $100 million (about Rs 723 crore) infusion, with an additional commitment of $100 million slated for later, said another person aware of the matter.

Vani Kola-led Kalaari Capital will look to raise the second tranche in up to 18 months from either Reliance or external sponsors, another source added.

“Reliance’s investment in Kalaari will give the company an early line of sight into startups and upcoming sectors,” said one person aware of the deal.

Also, Indian auto components maker Sona Comstar is set to file draft red herring prospectus this week to raise about Rs 6,000 crore ($828 million) through an initial public offering, multiple people aware of the matter told The Economic Times.

The Blackstone-backed company will be valued at $3 billion (about Rs 21,714 crore) in this proposed IPO, said one of the people.

In 2018, Blackstone had acquired Chennai-based Comstar Automotive Technology for about Rs 1,000 crore (about $138 million). In 2019, it also acquired a 33% stake in Sunjay Kapur-led Sona BLW, and merged the two to form Sona Comstar.

Separately, SAIF India VI FII Holdings Ltd, an entity affiliated with SAIF Partners has acquired 2 lakh shares each in Muthoot Capital Services Ltd through an open market bulk deal on the National Stock Exchange and the Bombay Stock Exchange.

The shares were acquired at Rs 397.5 apiece (about $5.49) for an aggregate investment of Rs 15.90 crore (about $2.19 million) on Monday, stock exchange filings disclosed.

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