Grapevine: Xiaomi may invest in Rapido; American PE firms eye Syska LED stake
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Smartphone maker Xiaomi is looking to invest in a $75 million (Rs 538 crore at current exchange rate) round of funding in bike taxi application Rapido along with several other existing investors including China’s Shunwei Capital, two persons familiar with the matter told The Times of India.

Rapido, owned and operated by Roppen Transportation Services Pvt. Ltd, is expected to be valued at up to $350 million in the round that can extend up to $100 million, the persons added.

The startup may also bring in other new investors on board.

In its Series B round of funding led by private equity firm WestBridge Capital, the company raised Rs 391 crore. The round got closed in August.

Meanwhile, US-based private equity firms General Atlantic, Blackstone and TA Associates have shown interest in Syska LED Lights Pvt. Ltd, which plans to sell a significant minority stake, two people aware of the matter told Mint.

Promoters of Syska, in a bid to deleverage the parent company’s balance sheet, are seeking to sell up to 49% stake at a valuation of up to Rs 4,000 crore ($558 million at current exchange rate), one of the persons said.

“The deal value could be anywhere between Rs 1,000 crore and Rs 1,500 crore,” said another person.

Syska LED is part of Syska Group, which comprises six firms including the LED lights business.

Also, Oil and Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC) has shelved stake sale plans for its petrochemical unit, ONGC Petro Additions Ltd (OPaL), after it was unable to attract a strategic partner, two people aware of the development told Mint.

For over four years, ONGC has maintained that it was in talks with Saudi Arabia’s Saudi Basic Industries Corp. and Saudi Aramco for selling a 26% stake in OPaL.

OPaL is a joint venture between ONGC (49.4%) and GAIL (India) Ltd (49.2%) with Gujarat State Petroleum Corp. Ltd holding 1.4% stake.

“ONGC for the time being has decided to make OPaL a subsidiary," said a banker aware of the development, adding that ONGC will now have to convert its share warrants and debenture into equity.

The conversion of only the share warrants will fetch ONGC up to 70% stake, while conversion of debentures would bump it up to 93%.

Separately, Business Standard reported the Baring Private Equity Asia spokesperson said the firm has been exiting its stake in Karvy Stock Broking (KSBL). 

The development comes after the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) and Bengaluru police began their probe into the alleged misuse of client securities by Karvy in June this year.

Also, Cipla has emerged as the front-runner to acquire select business segments of Wockhardt, according to Moneycontrol.

The firm is in pole position currently and is leading the race to buy a clutch of Wockhardt's business divisions, which have been put on the block.

The discussions are at an advanced stage and agreements between both parties are likely to be signed within the next few weeks.

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