Grapevine: Munjal, DSP Group founder eye Yes Bank stake; Bharti bids for R-Com assets
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Sunil Munjal, chairman of Hero Corporate Services Ltd, and Hemendra Kothari, veteran investment banker and founder of DSP Group, have held separate talks with Yes Bank Ltd to purchase stakes of up to 10% each, three people aware of the matter told Mint.

If both investments take place, the bank could receive a total of up to Rs 3,500 crore ($488 million at current exchange rate), these people said.

The investment is dependent on approval by the Reserve Bank of India, added the sources. RBI approval is mandatory for any stake purchase of 5% or more in a bank.

Besides Munjal and Kothari, other investors have previously shown interest in Yes Bank. In October, a person in the know told The Economic Times that Yes Bank is in talks with global private equity firms — TPG, The Carlyle Group and Farallon Capital — for selling large strategic stakes of the private sector lender.

Last week, two people in the know told The Economic Times that Discovery Capital, UK-based hedge fund Marshall Wace and others have joined buyout firms Carlyle and Farallon to buy a stake in Yes Bank. These players, along with domestic investors such as Aditya Birla Mutual Fund and HDFC Mutual Fund, are keen to have a share of the pie in Yes Bank over and above a binding bid from a global investor for a $1.2 billion stake.

Meanwhile, half-a-dozen companies including Bharti Airtel, Bharti Infratel and private equity firm Varde Partners have bid for the assets and units of bankrupt telco Reliance Communications (R-Com).

However, Reliance Jio Infocomm, which was conspicuously absent, has asked R-Com’s resolution professional for a 10-day extension of the November 11 deadline, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told The Economic Times.

Jio had submitted expressions of interest earlier this year for the assets.

In another development, Bharti Axa Life Insurance, Kotak Life Insurance, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala’s RARE Enterprises and Kedaara Capital have bid for a controlling stake in IDBI Federal Life Insurance, people in the know told The Economic Times.

The company’s valuation has plummeted by more than 50% from Rs 6,000 crore that was demanded last year when it was put up for sale.

The company is owned by three shareholders – state-run IDBI Bank (48% stake), Brussels-based insurer Ageas (26%) and Federal Bank (26%).

Life Insurance Corporation of India took over IDBI Bank last year, and this resulted in LIC holding an indirect economic interest in IDBI Federal Life Insurance.

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