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Grapevine: Race for Fortum assets; Policybazaar set to raise ADQ capital
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At least three asset management firms or units operated by them are in talks to acquire control of the Indian solar projects operated by Finnish state-run energy company Fortum Oyj, Mint reported on Monday.

Participants in these negotiations include Brookfield Asset Management, London-headquartered Actis and Sekura Energy Ltd, which is operated by Edelweiss Infrastructure Yield Plus Fund.

All three have submitted separate non-binding bids for a majority stake in these assets, which have a capacity of 500 megawatts, the report said, citing people aware of the developments.

The deal could take place at a valuation of around €500 million (about $606 million or Rs 4,406 crore), and is expected to be completed by March, the people said.

The sale process is being managed by Kotak Investment Banking.

Fortum is reportedly selling control of these assets as part of its strategy of taking early risks with ventures and then monetising them to secure capital for new projects. Of the 500MW, around half are operational, with the remaining near completion.

Meanwhile, insurance aggregator Policybazaar is set to raise $70 million (about Rs 508 crore) from Abu Dhabi’s ADQ, Mint said in a separate report.

The investment in Gurugram-based Policybazaar could see the company valued at $2 billion (about Rs 14,520 crore), the report said, citing two people aware of the developments.

According to VCCEdge, other investors in the company include Steadview Capital, SoftBank, Tiger Global and PremjiInvest.

The development comes even as the company gears up to make an initial public offering later this year. Other companies reportedly looking to list themselves on stock exchanges include foodtech platform Zomato and Walmart-owned Flipkart.

Policybazaar was set up in 2008 and is currently led by chief executive officer Yashish Dahiya. In October, VCCircle reported that a New York-based alternative investor had picked up a stake in the company through a secondary transaction.

The reported investment by ADQ will also see the holding company expand its bets on Indian companies. Last month, it announced an investment of Rs 555 crore (about $76 million) in Biocon Biologics Ltd, the biosimilars unit of Biocon.

In a separate development, Future Retail has alleged that e-commerce giant Amazon asked for $40 million (about Rs 290 crore) to waive its right of first refusal to buy Future Group’s assets in the unit, The Economic Times reported on Monday.

In a submission to the Singapore International Arbitration Commission (SIAC), the retailer said that an Amazon executive had made a verbal offer to Future Group head Kishore Biyani, asking for the sum as “compensation in exchange for Future Group and Reliance [Industries Ltd] proceeding with the disputed transaction”.

Further, Future has also claimed that Amazon was apprised of developments about the progress of the deal between RIL and Future for the acquisition of its retail, warehousing and logistics assets, the report said.

Amazon has disputed the deal and approached the SIAC in October, seeking a cancellation of the deal as it had the right of first refusal. The e-commerce company in 2019 had bought a 49% stake in unlisted Future Coupons, with a right to buy into Future Retail after three to five years.

While the arbitration panel had put the deal on hold in an interim award to Amazon, the Competition Commission of India had in November cleared RIL’s proposed acquisition of Future Group’s assets.

Also read:

As India’s green energy sector consolidates, will Finland’s Fortum hold its ground?

Battle of the billionaires: Bezos, Ambani gun for India retail supremacy

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