Grapevine: UV ARC, Jio top bidders for RCom assets; Advent, Kedaara eye Sequent
Photo Credit: Reuters

UV Asset Reconstruction Company Ltd has emerged as the highest bidder for Reliance Communications (RCom) and Reliance Telecom Ltd with a bid of a little over Rs 16,000 crore ($2.3 billion at current exchange rate), persons in the know told The Times of India.

Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio has emerged as the highest bidder for Anil Ambani’s telecom infra firm Reliance Infratel with an offer of Rs 3,609 crore ($510 million at current exchange rate), the persons added.

RCom, once a flagship company of the Anil Ambani-led group, received bids from Bharti Airtel and alternative investment firm Varde Partners. Airtel and UV Asset Reconstruction had also bid for Reliance Infratel.

The winning bidder will have access to RCom’s assets including airwaves in the 850MHz band in 14 of India’s 22 telecom circles. Infratel has about 43,000 telecom towers, some fibre and data centres.

According to the persons, lenders expect the department of telecom (DoT) to throw a spanner in the works by pressing for repayment of its dues. The persons also said that RCom resolution is a complex affair as there are a lot of conditionalities involved with every asset of the company.

Resolution professional Anish Nanavati had verified claims of Rs 31,788 crore of financial creditors and an additional Rs 22,455 crore from DoT. In the case of Reliance Telecom, loans of Rs 35,192 crore and DoT’s Rs 2,073 crore have been verified. Reliance Infratel has received claims of Rs 36,195 crore. The bid amounts are lower than the 20-25% recoveries that lenders were anticipating through the bankruptcy process, the report said.

Meanwhile, private equity investors US-based Advent International and home-grown fund Kedaara Capital, among others, are looking to acquire Sequent Scientific Ltd for close to Rs 2,500 crore ($353 million at current exchange rate), two people aware of the development told The Economic Times.

It is expected that the promoters, who together hold 56.5% stake and an existing private equity investor, Ascent Capital, with 5% stake in India's largest animal healthcare company, will exit as part of the deal.

After an open offer, the new buyer could end up controlling more than four-fifths of the company.

“There is more interest from PE investors. Strategic buyers are not keen on the API (active pharmaceutical ingredient) business as most clients are their competitors globally,” said one of the persons cited above.

Separately, Yes Bank Ltd, whose overall capital-raising target remains $2 billion, is recasting its strategy and plans to raise the money in multiple tranches of up to $500 million (Rs 3,545 crore at current exchange rate) each instead of raking in the entire amount in one go as planned earlier, two people aware of the matter told Mint.

Yes Bank is even considering a rights issue to raise capital, said one of the two people. The bank has also been considering qualified institutional placement (QIP) and preferential allotment to raise capital. The bank last raised Rs 1,930 crore through a QIP in August. 

Yes Bank’s capital top-up plans over the past four months, which included searching for a large anchor investor, have largely been unsuccessful and the current strategy tweak is expected to hasten funds mobilisation because it urgently needs to build buffers against potential loan losses and stay compliant with existing regulations.

The change in Yes Bank’s strategy comes against the backdrop of the lender’s abrupt rejection of the $500 million investment offer made by Citax Holdings Ltd and Citax Investment Group.

“Citax is no longer in the list because Citax did not deposit the required money in the escrow account for enabling the capital-raising committee of Yes Bank to consider their offer,” said one of the persons.

Leave Your Comment(s)