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Grapevine: Zomato frontrunner for UberEats; Mitsui, CPPIB in talks for RMZ projects
Photo Credit: Reuters

Uber’s India food delivery business, UberEats, has been put on the block again for close to $500 million (Rs 3,583 crore at current exchange rate), which may be subject to change, three people in the know told The Times of India.

Zomato has emerged as the frontrunner; Uber has also sent feelers to rival Swiggy more recently but talks are yet to take shape, the persons added.

The current round of negotiations involves a stock deal for the business and Uber may also invest in Zomato’s ongoing $600 million round, the report said. Zomato has already received commitment from existing Chinese investor Ant Financial to lead the round.

UberEats had held talks with Swiggy, Zomato, and Amazon India earlier. Swiggy and UberEats had held advanced discussions earlier this year but a deal did not go through because of differences in valuation besides taxation and legal issues.

Meanwhile, Japan’s Mitsui and Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) are in advanced talks to invest close to Rs 3,000 crore ($418.6 million at current exchange rate) in total across a few upcoming office projects of developer RMZ Corp., people in know told The Times of India.

Both the companies are looking to pick up equity stake of about 12.5% each in the properties across Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad.

RMZ is looking to bundle these properties into a separate special purpose vehicle (SPV). Out of the total of 12 million square feet, five million sq ft is in Bengaluru’s RMZ Ecoworld, four million sq ft in Hyderabad and the remaining in Chennai, the report said.

In another development, SoftBank-backed hospitality chain OYO and British private equity firm Apax Partners have joined the race to buy a significant stake in Café Coffee Day (CCD), two people close to the development told The Economic Times.

Media reports previously disclosed that global private equity majors KKR, TPG Capital and Bain Capital had signed a non-disclosure agreement to buy the group’s coffee business. Both OYO and Apax have joined the race with similar agreements signed.

One of the persons cited above added that some of those submitting bids were only interested in buying the CCD brand, while others were also interested in some other functions of the existing operations.

The board is expected to speed up talks with the interested investors once the investigation report by former CBI official Ashok Kumar Malhotra is submitted, the report stated.

Also, Reliance Jio Infocomm, Bharti Airtel, besides private equity firm Varde Partners and infrastructure-focused I Squared Capital fund are in the race for the bidding for Reliance Communications’ assets, which will open today, people aware of the matter told The Economic Times. UV Asset Reconstruction Company may also bid for RCom’s assets, they added.

While Airtel and Jio are expected to bid mainly for RCom's 850 megahertz (MHz) spectrum, I Squared Capital is likely to vie for the telco's data centres and optic fibre assets. RCom's 43,000 towers, housed under Reliance Infratel, are also up for sale, the report said.

The telco's total secured debt is estimated at Rs 33,000 crore. Proceeds from the sale would be used for repaying creditors.

Airtel had put in a bid a couple of weeks back only to withdraw it after the bidding deadline was extended by 10 days to accommodate Jio.

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