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IDFC Alternatives to buy solar assets from ACME; SBI gets govt approval to merge associate banks

16 June, 2016

IDFC Alternatives, the private equity (PE) arm of infrastructure-focused lender IDFC Ltd, has agreed to acquire about 275 megawatt of operational solar assets from ACME Solar, according to a report. 

The proposed deal is likely to close in next two months, Mint reported citing sources. IDFC Alternatives will require separate approvals from the lenders of the various assets and other approvals as per the power purchase agreements, it said.

ACME Solar has a portfolio of about 1.5 gigawatt of solar capacity, of which about 400 MW is operational. ACME Solar is part of ACME Cleantech Solutions Pvt. Ltd, the renewable energy unit of the ACME Group.

SBI gets govt approval to merge associate banks

The Union Cabinet has given in-principle approval to State Bank of India’s proposal to merge its five associate banks and Bharatiya Mahila Bank with itself.

Last month, SBI had said that it was seeking the government’s approval to merge its five associate banks — State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Patiala and State Bank of Travancore — and the newly created Bharatiya Mahila Bank with itself.

SBI fully owns State Bank of Hyderabad and State Bank of Patiala and has majority stakes in the other three. Bharatiya Mahila Bank started operations in 2013 and accounts for less than 0.1% of SBI’s total assets.

“Overall, the synergies being pooled at one place are going to be a big positive,” SBI chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya said, according to a report in The Hindu Business Line.

Reliance Jio may launch commercial operations by September

Reliance Jio Infocomm, the telecom arm of Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Industries Ltd, may launch commercial operations by the end of September, Mint reportedciting two unnamed company officials familiar with the matter.

Reliance Jio’s services were made available to employees and their families and friends last December. The company extended its services in May to the public through an employee-driven invite system. Jio.com, the official website of Reliance Jio, went live on 2 June.

E-retailers to approach govt to seek relief from some norms in draft GST law

Following the proposed provisions in the draft goods and service tax (GST) law for e-commerce companies, major e-retailers in the country are looking to approach the government to seek relief from some norms, Business Standard reportedciting sources.

The companies are looking to approach the government to raise their concerns and discuss the various pain points through sectoral bodies such as the Internet and Mobile Association of India, the report said.

The IAMAI has asked its members, including major e-commerce players such as Flipkart, Snapdeal and Paytm, to give a list of the various issues they have with the draft. After collating these, the plan is to approach the government next week.

Japan’s Yanmar Co to raise stake in International Tractor

Japanese diesel engine maker Yanmar Co Ltd is in talks to raise its stake in International Tractor Ltd from 12.5% to 20%, The Economic Times reportedciting the Indian company’s managing director Deepak Mittal. 

Yanmar was an early investor in the third-largest tractor maker in India, having bought the stake in 2005 for Rs 200 crore.

“Our Japanese partner (Yanmar) is willing to buy 8% more in the company. We will see if we can accommodate them,” Mittal was cited as saying in the report.

Private equity firm Blackstone Group is the other investor in the unlisted tractor maker and is looking to exit its investment in ITL. Blackstone owns 18% stake in the tractor maker that it bought for Rs 520 crore.

China’s Didi Chuxing completes $7.3 bn funding round

Didi Chuxing, the largest ride-hailing app in China, has completed a $7.3 billion financing round that includes the recent investment by tech giant Apple Inc.

The fresh round includes $4.5 billion in equity funding from Apple, China Life Insurance Co, Ant Financial, as well as returning investors Tencent, Alibaba, China Merchants Bank and SoftBank, according to a report by TechCrunch. The Beijing-based company is now valued around $28 billion, it said.

Didi, which has formed a global coalition with Lyft Inc in the US, India’s Ola and Southeast Asia’s Grab, is trying to fend off an aggressive charge by its rival Uber onto its home turf. The two companies are amassing cash and spending aggressively to expand in the world’s second-largest economy, partly by subsidising the costs of rides.

Silvan Innovation raises capital from clean-tech fund Infuse Ventures

Home automation and energy management solutions provider Silvan Innovation Labs has raised an equity funding of Rs 6 crore from clean-tech fund Infuse Ventures, The Economic Times reported.

Silvan, which has raised a total of Rs 13.5 crore since its launch in 2008, will use the funds for marketing and creating new home automation products in select segments such as energy management.

The company is also looking to augment its presence into the business-to-consumer segment, after catering to companies including developers such as Lodha Group and Tata Housing Developing Company.

Cabinet approves 10% stake sale in HUDCO via IPO

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved a proposal for divesting a 10% stake in state-controlled Housing & Urban Development Corporation Ltd (HUDCO) through an initial public offering (IPO).

HUDCO is wholly owned by the government and has a net worth of around Rs 7,800 crore. The timing for the share sale will be decided by the finance ministry but it will take a few months.

The government aims to raise Rs 56,500 crore through stake sales in state-run companies in financial year 2016-17. Other companies lined up for disinvestment include trading firms STC and MMTC, and iron ore miner NMDC.

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IDFC Alternatives to buy solar assets from ACME; SBI gets govt approval to merge associate banks

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