Grapevine: VTB may sell Zee stake; Bank of India may sell most shares in JV
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VTB Capital plans to sell 10.71% pledged stake in borrower Zee Entertainment, The Economic Times said, a move that would bring down media baron Subhash Chandra’s family stake to near single digit in the flagship company.

This move by VTB Capital, the investment management arm of Russia-based state-run financial services giant VTB Group, is expected to further galvanise some domestic lenders like mutual funds, NBFCs, and banks to sell pledged shares.

The total promoter holding in Zee has been coming down consistently and was 22.37% at the end of September, of which 96% is pledged with lenders. The promoters and the companies owe over Rs 17,000 crore to lenders.

If 100% of the pledged shares are sold, the founder-promoters will be left with around 2% of the company, the report said.

Meanwhile, The Economic Times also said that Bank of India (BoI) is looking to sell 27% stake in Star Union Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company to raise around Rs 1,200 crore ($170 million at current exchange rate) at a valuation of Rs 3,800 crore.

It is also looking to offload stakes in BSE, NSDL and Equifax to raise up to Rs 1,800 crore ($255 million at current exchange rate).

“BoI is looking to retain 2% stake in the life insurance venture,” an executive said. Star Union Dai-ichi Life Insurance is a joint venture (JV) of BoI, Union Bank of India and Dai-ichi Life.

BoI previously invited bids for a partial stake sale in the JV but did not receive any interest from investors.

IDBI Federal Life Insurance is another company on the block after Life Insurance Corporation acquired stake in IDBI Bank, the report added.

In another development, The Economic Times said that Amica Financial Technologies has received $24 million (Rs 169.6 crore at current exchange rate) in its maiden funding round valuing the upcoming digital retail bank founded by Citrus Pay cofounder Jitendra Gupta at $70 million.

Institutional investors including Greyhound Capital, 3One4 Capital, Germany’s Rocket Internet, venture capital funds Matrix Partners and Sequoia Capital joined the round.

The startup has also brought on board a host of angel investors including Falcon Edge Capital’s Navroz Udwadia, DST Global’s Rahul Mehta, Snapdeal’s Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal, Kunal Shah of Cred, BookMyShow founder Ashish Hemrajani and Nubank founder David Velez.

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