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Grapevine: PE firms to exit ISP Atria; Blackstone to consolidate office assets
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Private equity firms True North and TA Associates, which own more than 90% in India’s largest non-telco internet service provider (ISP) Atria Convergence Technologies Ltd (ACT), are looking to sell a controlling stake in the company at an enterprise value of around $1.4 billion (Rs 10,410 crore), two people in the know told Mint.

ACT had last raised $500 million from True North and TA Associates in 2015.

The two private equity investors are eyeing a profitable exit by capitalising on the internet boom spurred by the work-from-home economy, one of the two people said.

“The discussions are at an early stage. They will be looking at telcos that want to add to their wired broadband services and foreign PE funds for the stake sale,” the person added.

In March 2018, VCCircle reported that the PE investors were looking for a partial exit through an initial public offering, but the plan was abandoned because of poor IPO market conditions and launch of Jio’s wired broadband services.  

Meanwhile, private equity giant Blackstone Group is scaling up Nucleus Office Parks, an entity that will house its office assets with rental income, to bring such assets under a single entity, a person familiar with the development told Mint.

Nucleus Office Parks, which currently has a few properties that Blackstone bought on its own, will expand once the latter buys nearly 16 million square feet (sq ft) of commercial assets from Bengaluru-based Prestige Group.

Blackstone is in advanced talks with Prestige to buy rental income assets including office spaces, malls and hotels for around $1.6 billion. Once the buyout is complete these assets will come under Nucleus.

Blackstone has a commercial real estate portfolio of 118 million sq. ft.

In another development, Indiabulls Housing Finance is in the final stages of negotiations with Oaktree to raise up to $200 million (Rs 1,500 crore) in debt. It will be the second such deal between the two in the past three months, people in the know told Business Standard.

Like in the previous deal, Indiabulls will pledge some developer loans with Oaktree and the global stressed assets investor will come in as a senior lender and have the first right on the project’s cash flows.

Yesterday it was reported that Piramal Capital & Housing Finance is looking to raise $500 million in a similar arrangement from Apollo Global Management.

It was reported in July that Indiabulls is in discussions with Deutsche Bank, Oaktree Capital, Brookfield and SSG Capital, among others, to sell its builder loans worth Rs 10,000 crore (about $1,330 million).

Meanwhile, venture capital firms Lightspeed and Matrix Partners are in talks to lead a $6-$7 million (Rs 44.52-51.94 crore) funding round in Rankz Inc., which operates business and store creation platform Dukaan, digital media publication Entrackr reported.

The development comes just a week after Dukaan sent a legal notice to transaction-recording platform Khatabook for allegedly copying its logo and interface for a new service launched earlier this month.

Dukaan, founded by Suumit Shah, is in the advanced stages of talks to close this seed financing round, Entrackr reported, citing three people aware of the development. The startup is also reportedly in preliminary talks with high-profile angel investors in India and Silicon Valley.

The startup is likely to offer a 25% stake to potential investors in the coming round, with an expected valuation of $25 million (around Rs 185.52 crore), the report said, citing one of the people.

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