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Alibaba eyes minority stake in Dailyhunt; Brookfield, Macquarie bid for highways
Photo Credit: Reuters

Chinese e-tailing giant Alibaba group may be in talks to pick up a 10-12% stake in Ver Se’ Innovation Pvt. Ltd, which runs news aggregator Dailyhunt, a financial daily reported.

According to Mint, the company is looking at valuation of $500 million in the proposed transaction.

In 2017, when Franklin Templeton Private Equity Strategy had sold its stake  in the company, it was valued at Rs 2,100 crore ($310 million).

Dailyhunt’s existing investors include Matrix Partners, Sequoia Capital India, Omidyar Network, Falcon Edge and Bytedance.

Toll-operate-transfer

In another development in the infrastructure sector, six entities have shown interest in the bidding process for the construction of nine national highways under the toll-operate-transfer model, several media reports said.

Both Mint and The Economic Times said four companies – Canadian asset management company Brookfield; Australian financial services group Macquarie; IRB Infrastructure, a joint venture between IRB Infrastructure and Italy’s Atlantia; and Roadis-NIIF, a joint venture between Canadian pension fund PSP Investments’ Roadis and National Infrastructure and Investment Fund – are expected to place their bids before the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).

In the first phase, NHAI is looking at 648 km of highways. The technical bids will be opened on Friday, Mint said.

Jaypee Infra bids

JSW Group is leading the race to acquire Jaypee Infratech Ltd with the highest bid among several entities that have shown interest in the debt-laden company’s assets, ET reported.

The report said Adani group, Chinese real estate firm Jieyang Zhonguci, Deutsche Bank, Sudhir Valia-promoted Suraksha ARC and Jaypee Infratech’s parent, Jaiprakash Associates, have also placed their bids to acquire the stressed assets.

Two unnamed people told the business daily that JSW is the highest bidder, offering Rs 9,914 crore as a one-time payment to lenders.

Jaypee Infratech is undergoing a corporate insolvency resolution process initiated by the National Company Law Tribunal. As on 31 March, 2017, its total debts were at Rs 9,515 crore, according to the company’s annual report.

The company operates Yamuna Expressway, the 165-km six-lane toll-road connecting NCR to Agra. The revenue from toll collection was at Rs 292.72 crore in the year through March 2017.

Jaypee Infratech is also developing five townships spread across 25 million square metres off the Yamuna Expressway, its latest annual report shows.

Bharti Infratel-Indus Towers

Earlier in the day, Mint reported that telecom tower infrastructure companies Bharti Infratel Ltd and Indus Towers Ltd are looking to merge their businesses.

Indus Towers is a joint-venture between Bharti Infratel, Vodafone India and Aditya Birla Telecom. Bharti Infratel and Vodafone India hold 42% stake, each, in the company, while Aditya Birla Telecom has an 11.5% stake. The remaining, 4.85%, is with by Provident Equity Partners.

Citing sources aware of the development, the report said both Vodafone and Idea wanted to stay invested in their tower businesses as they expect the valuation to go up in the near-term.

HDFC Property Fund

Mint also reported that HDFC Property Fund, the real estate investment arm of Housing Development Finance Corporation, is looking to raise $500 million through its third offshore property fund.

Citing a company executive, the report said the life of the fund will be at 10 years and would invest in commercial office projects and residential developments through equity and structured equity instruments.

HDFC Property had raised a $750 million in its first offshore fund in 2007-08 and $350 million in its second offshore fund in 2014-15.

Wildcraft

Homegrown e-commerce major Flipkart, along with its fashion and lifestyle e-tailing arm Myntra, are in final stages of discussion to buy a 5% stake in outdoor gear maker Wildcraft India Pvt. Ltd, ET reported.

Citing unnamed people, the business daily said that as part of the deal Wildcraft products will be exclusively available on all of Flipkart group’s online marketplaces.

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