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Grapevine: Reliance anchors Kalaari fund; Warburg, others in race for Parksons
Photo Credit: VCCircle

Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd has come on board as an anchor limited partner (LP) for homegrown venture firm Kalaari Capital’s fourth fund, The Economic Times reported.

The development comes following reports that Reliance Industries’ Jio Platforms was finalising an investment of up to $200 million (around Rs 1,447 crore) in Kalaari Capital, throwing up concerns about possible conflict of interest.

Reliance Industries, in the past few years, has acquired some firms in which Kalaari Capital was an investor, including online furniture retailer Urban Ladder, lingerie retailer Zivame, edtech firm Embibe, and chatbot startup Haptik.

Parksons Packaging

At least two parties, including private equity firm Warburg Pincus and Finland’s Huhtamäki Oyj, are in the race to acquire a controlling stake in folding carton manufacturer Parksons Packaging, The Economic Times reported.

A successful transaction could value Parksons Packaging at Rs 2,800-Rs 3,000 crore ($385-$412 million) and facilitate an exit for Kedaara Capital, which initially invested in the company in 2015.

Other private equity firms including Bain Capital and KKR were in the fray but did not make it to the final round of bidding, the report said, citing people.

Kedaara Capital had initially invested Rs 200 crore in the company for a 25% stake, which it picked up from ChrysCapital, another PE firm. Credit Suisse is running the sale process.

Mytrah Energy

Green energy firm Mytrah Energy is exploring mergers with other companies to create a bigger entity ahead of a listing in the United States through a special purpose acquisition vehicle (SPAC), Mint reported.

The merger will see Mytrah Energy combine with companies having a portfolio of less than five gigawatts, the report said, citing people .

Mytrah Energy, based in Hyderabad, has been exploring the SPAC route for a listing following unsuccessful negotiations for a $750 million equity deal with private equity firm KKR.

Mytrah Energy had originally listed itself on the alternative investment market of the London Stock Exchange in 2010. It delisted itself in 2018. The development comes even as Goldman Sachs-backed ReNew Power goes ahead with plans to list itself via a SPAC.

Tata NUE

Companies including Walmart-owned Flipkart, Mastercard, PayU, and the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) will buy a 30% stake in the Tata Group-promoted company that will set up payments infrastructure to compete with the National Payments Corporation of India, The Economic Times reported.

The entity, Ferbine, will apply for a New Umbrella Entity licence from the Reserve Bank of India. These entities will be allowed to set up, manage, and operate retail payment systems in the country.

While Tata Group will own 40% in Ferbine, Airtel Digital, Mastercard and Nabard will hold a 10% stake each. A Flipkart subsidiary and PayU will each own a 5% stake, while HDFC Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank will hold 9.99% in the entity, the report said, citing people.

This entity is competing with consortiums led by Reliance and Amazon. 

Blume Ventures

Blume Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm, has told Mint that it expects 10 to 12 of its portfolio companies to either go public or become unicorns over the next decade.

The development comes around a year after Blume marked the final close of its third fund at $102 million (Rs 715 crore), which made it the first homegrown venture capital firm to cross the milestone of $100 million in a single fund.

Per the Mint report, Blume Ventures in January this year announced the close of Fund 1X, which bought stakes in six portfolio firms from its first fund. These secondary transactions have allowed the VC investor to offer exits to LPs from that first fund, which was launched in 2011.

“With Fund 1 maturing, we were not keen to sell off our stakes in the portfolio and yet be able to deliver respectable exit outcomes within the fund life,” firm partner Ashish Fafadia said.

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