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Grapevine: Morgan Stanley may buy into Centrum unit; Lightbox may invest in Cityflo
Photo Credit: Reuters

A private equity fund managed by Morgan Stanley is in advanced talks with Centrum Group to pick up a 20% stake in its housing finance subsidiary, Centrum Housing Finance, at a valuation of up to Rs 1,200 crore ($169 million at current exchange rate).

Morgan Stanley Private Equity has emerged as the frontrunner among a couple of other PE funds, including New York Life-backed Jacob Ballas, persons in the know told The Economic Times.

A binding agreement to this effect is expected to be signed this week and a formal announcement is due later this month, the persons added.

The investments are expected from Morgan Stanley’s Asia platform, which last year raised $366 million for its fifth Asia fund.

Meanwhile, venture capital firm Lightbox is in talks to lead a round of funding up to $8 million (Rs 57 crore at current exchange rate) in app-based bus commute startup Cityflo based out of Mumbai, two people aware of the matter told Mint.

Cityflo, owned by Komorebi Tech Solutions Pvt. Ltd, in April last year raised Rs 3 crore in its Series A round of funding from India Quotient, which acquired IDG’s stake in June 2019 and holdings of a few individual investors.

The company, which was founded in 2015, received its early backing in the same year from VC firm Chiratae Ventures.

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