Grapevine: Apis Partners to bet on Cashfree; e-tailers eye Aditya Birla Fashion stake
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Payment gateway startup Cashfree is in advanced talks to raise up to $25 million (about Rs 184 crore) from new and existing investors in a Series B funding round, a media report said.

London-based private equity firm Apis Partners is one of the new investors leading the round, news website Entrackr reported, citing people aware of the matter. The company is in talks with two more investors, it said.

The Series B round will push Cashfree’s valuation to around $150 million, the report said.

The Y-combinator-backed startup has so far raised around $5.6 million including $5.5 million in a Series A round in April 2019. It also counts South Korean venture capital firm Smilegate Investments as one of its investors.

Green power producer Mytrah Energy India Pvt Ltd is in the process to revive its majority stake sale process after the talks with KKR to grab a majority stake for $750 million fell through last year, two people aware of the development told Mint.

Mytrah has an operational portfolio of 2.3 gigawatts (GW) — including 1,700 megawatt of wind and 535 MW of solar projects — apart from 700 MW of projects under development.

“Mytrah is open to both — asset sales or a majority stake sale in the firm,” said one of the two people.

Meanwhile, Walmart-owned Flipkart and e-tailer giant Amazon have held separate talks with Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail (ABFRL) for acquiring a minority stake, three people aware of the matter told The Economic Times.

ABFRL owns brands like Pantaloons, Allen Solly and Peter England.

“Flipkart is looking to pick up to 15% stake,” one of the persons said adding that the investment is subject to ABFRL’s board approval. Flipkart may edge ahead of Amazon, the people said.

Also, the Tata group’s Taj Hotel chain operator Indian Hotels Co Ltd (IHCL) is in talks with Abu Dhabi’s sovereign fund, Mubadala, to acquire Viceroy Hotels & Resorts Group, which owns more than a dozen hotels across the world, people aware of the matter told The Economic Times.

IHCL has submitted an initial term sheet. From a pre-Covid valuation expectation of $100 million (Rs 737 crore), the deal is likely to be done at up to $35 million (Rs 258 crore), said one of the persons.

Positioned as a boutique lifestyle luxury brand, California-based Viceroy provides hotel management and development services in US cities such as San Francisco, Chicago and Los Angeles. According to the people, Mubadala is now the sole owner of Viceroy.

Separately, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC is in advanced talks to acquire a significant stake in Goldman Sachs-backed hotel development and investment firm SAMHI, which has a portfolio of 27 operating hotels in twelve cities, people familiar with the matter told The Economic Times.

GTI Capital Group, Equity International and International Finance Corp (IFC) are the other investors in SAMHI. Some of the mentioned investors might seek an exit with the transaction.

“SAMHI's IPO plans got stalled because of Covid-19, so now it is in talks for private placement with GIC,” one of the persons said.

“We have engaged with multiple investors but haven’t reached a conclusion. There are some good quality conversations,” Ashish Jakhanwala, founder and CEO, SAMHI, said.

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