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Grapevine: Reliance, Samara eye stake in Future Retail; Good Host buys varsity facilities
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Several suitors including Reliance Retail Ltd and private equity firm Samara Capital are looking to buy a stake in Kishore Biyani’s Future Retail Ltd, which runs the popular BigBazaar supermarket stores, two people aware of the development told Mint.

If Future group chooses to sell stake to a strategic investor, Biyani may have to give up control of the company he founded, while with financial investors, the promoters might still continue in the business, one of the persons said. 

The stake sale will help the group pare its large debt. The deal with Reliance could also involve the group’s apparel retail business Future Lifestyle Fashion Ltd, the person added.

About eight years back, Biyani witnessed a similar debt situation when he chose to sell his apparel store business, Pantaloons, to the Aditya Birla group, and his financial services business, Future Capital, to Warburg Pincus.

Meanwhile, Good Host Spaces, a student housing company 75% owned by Goldman Sachs, has acquired the student housing facilities of OP Jindal Global University based in Sonipat, Haryana at an enterprise value of Rs 900 crore (about $120 million), two people aware of the development told Mint.

Confirming the deal, a spokesperson for the university said Good Host Spaces will manage non-academic services such as student housing, dining services and laundry facility.

In another development, Dutch pension fund manager APG Asset Management NV has evinced interest in acquiring a 51% stake in Tata Power’s renewable energy infrastructure investment trust (InvIT), two people in the know told Mint.

Others expressing interest in the proposed InvIT include private equity firm Actis Llp, Ontario Municipal Employees’ Retirement System (OMERS), Canada Pension Plan investment Board (CPPIB), and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), the people said.

“We have very ambitious targets in renewables. For that, we require money and we are looking at bringing in strategic investors,” Praveer Sinha, managing director and CEO, Tata Power, had said in an earlier interview.

India is working on the world’s largest clean energy programme, with an aim to achieve 175 gigawatt (GW) of renewable energy capacity by 2022. It has 34.6GW of solar power and 38GW of wind power.

Also, US-based TPG Capital is in active discussions with Jio Platforms to join bulge-bracket American private equity peers KKR, Silver Lake and General Atlantic in picking up a stake in the Reliance Industries unit, people in the know told The Economic Times.

The PE fund, known primarily for leveraged buyouts, has been in talks for the past few weeks and is expected to be nearing a deal that might see it invest up to $1.5 billion (Rs 11,375 crore at current exchange rate), the people said.

Jio Platforms has already raised nearly $13 billion by diluting a 21% stake through eight transactions in seven weeks to a host of strategic and financial investors, starting with Facebook.

Middle-eastern sovereign funds like Mubadala and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) have joined the Jio Platforms fund-raising juggernaut.

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is also engaged with Jio Platforms for a $1.5 billion investment and is expected to finalise negotiations in 7-10 days, the report said.

Separately, three global private equity funds -- US-based fund KKR, Apax Partners and Asia’s leading fund PAG -- have submitted their final offers to acquire a 56% stake in JB Chemicals held by promoters JB Modi and family, people aware of the development told The Economic Times.

A formal announcement for the deal, which shall trigger an open offer, is expected this week.

It was previously reported that four funds are in talks to acquire JB Chemicals at a valuation of close to $650 million.

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