Grapevine: Nirma Group closes in on Emami cement; NIIF-Roadis to buy 2 Essel projects
Photo Credit: Reuters

Nirma Group’s cement division has emerged as the front runner for Emami Group’s nine million tonne per year cement business for an enterprise value of up to Rs 6,000 crore ($845 million at current exchange rate), people in the know told The Economic Times.

Nuvoco Vistas’ bid is likely to trump offers from cement makers such as UltraTech, Star Cement and Ambuja.

Previously in July 2016, the Nirma Group acquired LafargeHolcim’s India assets for Rs 9,000 crore.

Nuvoco is expected to rope in a financial partner and has engaged with Aion, KKR, the Bain-Piramal India Resurgence Fund and Temasek to explore a partnership, the report said.

Meanwhile, the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) and its road partner Roadis are close to buying two road projects from Essel Infraprojects, wholly owned by Subhash Chandra’s debt-laden Essel group, at an estimated value of up to Rs 1,800 crore ($253 million at current exchange rate), two people aware of the discussions told Mint.

In October, a BusinessLine report said Essel is in advanced talks to sell six of its road projects to NIIF for over Rs 4,000 crore.

NIIF has trimmed the final asset count for the deal to just two of the Essel’s toll roads in Karnataka (the Navayuga Devanahalli Tollway near Bengaluru airport, a national highway) and Telangana (Essel Dichpally Tollway, a state highway).

Essel Infraprojects has 14 road projects in its portfolio, of which six are under the hybrid annuity model. Last year, the company had placed six road projects, two operating transmission lines and solar power assets on the block to repay the bulk of Essel group’s debt. So far, the company has sold a part of its solar power portfolio and two transmission lines to investors.

For the roads portfolio, Essel had initiated talks with Cube Highways and Infrastructure Pte. Ltd, Adani Enterprises Ltd and CDPQ before the discussions with NIIF-Roadis began.

In another development, student housing startup Oxfordcaps is looking to raise $30 million (Rs 213 crore at current exchange rate) in an equity round of funding expected to be led by Swiss investor LGT through its social-impact platform Lightstone Aspada, two people aware of the matter told Mint.

Oxfordcaps, owned by Scholar Alley Pvt. Ltd, will use the proceeds to expand in more cities and tie up with more universities. The round shall value the company at up to $120 million, the people cited above said.

Oxfordcaps last raised $8 million in a Series A round in March last year led by Times Internet and other investors Kalaari Capital and Silicon Valley-based 500 Start-ups.

Separately, Hines Real Estate is in separate talks with Singaporean sovereign fund GIC, CapitaLand, and others to sell its commercial property over four acres with a development potential of 1.3 million square feet area for close to Rs 2,000 crore ($282 million at current exchange rate), Business Standard reported.

The Mumbai property of the Indian arm of US-based investment firm Hines is situated in Kanjurmarg area.

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