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Haldiram may buy Kwality Dairy; Ajay Relan’s new fund bets on mobile cinema firm
Photo Credit: VCCircle

Haldiram Snacks Pvt. Ltd, which specialises in ethnic sweets and snacks, has thrown in the hat to acquire loss-making Kwality Dairy after global private equity giant KKR & Co. dragged the company to bankruptcy court, a report in The Economic Times stated, citing two persons in the know.

Besides Haldiram, a clutch of strategic and financial buyers are in a tight race to buy the Delhi-based firm, including private equity firm TPG Capital; Arcion Revitalisation, the asset reconstruction company of AION Capital; IndiaRF, a joint venture between Piramal Enterprises and Bain Capital Credit; and JK Group’s LVP Foods, the ET report added.

KKR had filed a petition before the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code last October after Kwality Dairy had defaulted on a loan worth Rs 1,200 crore, said the report.

KKR had invested as much as Rs 520 crore ($77 million) in the dairy company two years ago through a structured finance transaction.

In another development, mobile cinema operator Picture Time Digiplex Pvt. Ltd has raised Rs 25 crore ($3.6 million at current exchange rates) in fresh capital from Zenrock Comtrade, the new fund floated by Ajay Relan, the former chairman of private equity firm CX Partners, The Economic Times reported.

Of the Rs 25 crore, Rs 15 crore has been secured as equity while the remaining Rs 10 crore will go towards working capital requirements, Sushil Chaudhary, Picture Time's chairman told ET.

He told the business daily that the investment increased the cinema firm’s valuation by 40%.

Incorporated in 2015, Picture Time currently operates 37 mobile digiplex cinema theatre units spread across 14 states. It has so far showcased films in remote villages of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

The firm's mobile digiplex cinemas involve setting up a mobile theatre with an inflatable canopy which can seat 120 people. The theatre units have digital projectors with surround sound. Tickets cost between Rs 30-50.

In March last year, Relan had led another Rs 25-crore round in the mobile cinema operator.

Meanwhile, Dutch development bank FMO has committed to contribute $15 million (Rs 104 crore) to the latest investment vehicle of education-focused PE firm Kaizen, the lender said in a statement.

The Kaizen Private Equity Fund II will invest in emerging countries in South and Southeast Asia, particularly India, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand.

The Dutch development bank is an active investor in India. In February, VCCircle reported that FMO had invested in InCred Finance, a non-banking financial company backed by private equity firms and former Deutsche Bank co-chief executive Anshu Jain.

Also in February, FMO co-invested along with German development finance institution Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG) in a subsidiary of Avaada Power Pvt. Ltd, which was started by Welspun Renewable Energy founder Vineet Mittal.

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