Kedaara-Partners Group eyes Vishal Mega Mart, Airplaza; DST may back Swiggy
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A consortium of Kedaara Capital and Partners Group is in advanced negotiations with TPG Capital and Shriram Group to acquire wholesale chain Vishal Mega Mart and Airplaza Retail, respectively, for a total consideration of Rs 5,000-5,300 crore, The Economic Times reported, citing people aware of the development.

The consortium has raced ahead of private-equity suitors Carlyle Group and KKR as well as family office PremjiInvest, the report said.

TPG has mandated Kotak Mahindra Bank to find a buyer, according to the report.

In September 2010, Vishal Retail had sold its retail, franchise and wholesale businesses to global buyout firm TPG Capital and Chennai-based Shriram Group for Rs 70 crore.

Subsequently, TPG Wholesale Pvt. Ltd was created for wholesale and franchise business and Airplaza Retail for retail one.

Airplaza Retail is owned by Shriram Distribution Services. TPG Wholesale, owned by TPG Capital, was later renamed Vishal Mega Mart.

In another development, DST Global, an investment firm led by Russian venture capitalist Yuri Milner, is in advanced negotiations to invest in online food delivery platform Swiggy, run by Bengaluru-based Bundl Technologies Pvt. Ltd, The Economic Times reported, citing two people aware of the development.

US-based technology-focused hedge fund Coatue Management LLC to also in talks with Swiggy to participate in a round which could see investment of more than $200 million, according to the report.

Citing a person aware of the development, the report said Swiggy has received interest from four to five investors and this will be its largest round of funding.

In February, Swiggy raised $100 million (Rs 640 crore) in its Series F round led by existing South African investor Naspers. The round also saw participation from Meituan-Dianping, China's largest provider of on-demand online services.

Separately, home-grown private equity firm True North Managers LLP is in advanced negotiations to pick up a 26% stake in Fedbank Financial Services (Fedfina) for Rs 400 crore, Mint reported, citing two people aware of the development.

Fedbank Financial Services is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the private-sector lender Federal Bank Ltd. It offers multiple loan products which include property loans, structured finance and gold loans. It also distributes loan products of the Federal Bank.

Federal Bank has given the mandate to ICICI Securities to conduct the sale process, according to the report.

The total loan portfolio of Fedbank Financial Services as on 31 March 2017 was Rs 962 crore as against Rs 611 crore as on 31 March 2016, according to its annual report.

In another development, advisory and asset management business house ASK Group is planning an initial public offering of around $200-250 million, which will give partial exit to private equity firm Advent International, Mint reported, citing two people aware of the development.

In December 2016, Advent International had acquired a significant minority stake in ASK Investment Managers Pvt. Ltd for an undisclosed sum.

As on 31 March 2017, Advent International held 49.65% stake in the company, according to VCCEdge, the data research platform of News Corp VCCircle.

Citing a person aware of the development, the report said the company will raise money through the initial public offering for growing existing business and entering new lines of business organically or inorganically.

The company has given mandate to JM Financial to manage the initial public offering, according to the report.

Founded in 1983 by Asit Koticha and Sameer Koticha, ASK is engaged in portfolio management, wealth advisory, private equity fund management and real estate investment businesses.

Separately, global asset manager BlackRock Inc. is looking to enter the distressed assets space in India, Mint reported, citing two people aware of the development.

BlackRock will be looking at classic credit deals such as debt securities, corporate mezzanine investments as well as asset-backed, speciality finance investments and opportunities in insolvency cases, according to the report.

BlackRock posted a job listing on its website saying that it is looking to hire a managing director or director for its global private credit platform focusing on distressed and non-performing loans opportunities in India.

The appointed person will be responsible for developing the strategy for distressed opportunities in India as well as for sourcing, assessing, executing and monitoring distressed and non-performing loan investment opportunities in India for BlackRock’s Asian and global private credit platform, according to its website.

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