KKR looks to take over Altico; Alibaba reviews India strategy
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Private equity firm KKR is looking to buy a controlling stake in real estate-focussed non-banking financial company Altico Capital India Ltd, a media report said.

Citing two people aware of the development, the Mint newspaper reported that more suitors could join the race for Altico.

The PE firm has two NBFCs in India: the corporate-focussed KKR India Financial Services Pvt. Ltd and real estate-focussed KKR India Asset Finance Pvt. Ltd. KKR India chief Sanjay Nayar had said last year that the firm’s two Indian credit units might spend as much as Rs 2,000 crore combined to purchase portfolios from local NBFCs, according to Bloomberg.

In January, KKR hired former Axis Bank chief executive Shikha Sharma as an adviser to expand its NBFCs in India.

The Mint report also said that KKR was one of the bidders for Aadhar Housing Finance Ltd, a unit of Wadhawan Global Capital which was later acquired by rival Blackstone.

Altico is controlled by Canadian asset management firm Fiera Capital. In August last year, Fiera had acquired Altico’s Hong Kong-based founder Clearwater Capital. Abu Dhabi Investment Council and Varde Partners are Altico’s other investors.

In another report, Mint said that Jack Ma-led Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group is reviewing its India investment game plan.

Citing three people aware of the matter, the report said that Alibaba could make more vertical e-commerce investments and smaller early-stage deals in India.

Alibaba has focussed on e-commerce, payments and logistics sectors in India thus far. Its bets on horizontal e-commerce companies Snapdeal and Paytm Mall haven't been very successful, but it has had better luck from vertical players such as BigBasket and Zomato.

The report also said that Ant Financial, the payments affiliate of Alibaba, recently launched a $100 million venture capital fund called BAce Capital. The fund will invest between $250,000 and $15 million.

Alibaba is also evaluating segments such as baby-care, online pharmacies and furniture retailing, the report said. In fact, in March, BAce Capital took part in an $8 million funding round for Bengaluru-based parenting platform Healofy.

Meanwhile, a Haryana government agency has proposed an exit for itself and Essel Infraprojects, part of the debt-laden Essel Group, from the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal Expressway project, The Times of India reported.

The report said that Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC) has suggested lenders led by IDBI Bank could take over debt worth Rs 4,000 crore.

The report said that while IDBI Bank was not averse to the proposal, other lenders were not in favour. If the proposal is accepted, it would come as a big relief to Essel Group, which has been looking to sell assets to pare debt.

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