KKR, others eye Bharti, Indus towers; TPG looks to sell Vishal Mega Mart
Photo Credit: Ankit Kumar/VCCircle

Telecommunication tower infrastructure companies Bharti Infratel Ltd and Indus Towers Ltd are on the radar of a consortium of funds for a possible $11 billion acquisition.

The Economic Times reported, citing several people aware of development, that the consortium led by private equity major KKR, is also being represented by Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board and sovereign funds Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and GIC Pte. Ltd.

According to the report, the deal will be completed in two stages. First Bharti Infratel will buy out the shares of other partners in Indus Towers Ltd. Then, the KKR-led consortium will increase its stake in Bharti Infratel from the current 10% to become the single largest shareholder.

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 held by Provident Equity Partners.

“Bharti Infratel is likely to buy 45-50% stake for $5.5-6.5 billion as a leveraged buyout that will largely be funded out of the reserves and cash flow of Indus Towers,” the report quoted one person. Bharti Infratel had reported consolidated revenue of Rs 6,155.8 crore for 2016-17 and net profit of Rs 2,747 crore.

As of 31 March 2017, Bharti Infratel owned and operated 39,099 towers, while Indus Towers operated 122,730. Bharti Infratel’s stake in Indus Towers translates into an economic interest of 90,646 towers, according to information in the company’s annual report.

Vishal Mega Mart

Private equity firm TPG-backed wholesale and retail chain Vishal Mega Mart is on the block and a deal may value the company around Rs 1,500 crore, The Times of India reported, citing a person aware of the development.

TPG has mandated Kotak Mahindra Capital to look for a buyer, the report said.

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

After the acquisition, the company was divided into two parts—TPG Wholesale Pvt. Ltd took control of the wholesale and franchise arm while Airplaza Retail had taken over the retail arm. Airplaza Retail is owned by Shriram Distribution Services Pvt. Ltd. TPG Wholesale was later renamed Vishal Mega Mart Pvt. Ltd.

Uttam Galva

In another report, The Economic Times said that debt-laden Uttam Galva Steels Ltd, which is co-promoted by the Miglani family, has evinced interest from four suitors.

“We have four proposals on the table, including from AION Capital and Edelweiss ARC. The decision has to be taken by the banks, and the promoters are cooperating fully,” Uttam Galva managing director Ankit Miglani told the financial daily.

The promoter group has also submitted the restructuring proposal, the report added. The company’s debt is pegged at Rs 8,000 crore.

Kotak Realty Fund

Kotak Realty Fund, which is part of the alternative investment funds unit of Kotak Mahindra Bank, is in negotiations with private equity major Blackstone Group, Brookfield Asset Management and Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) to sell assets from two of its funds, Mint reported citing two people.

The two funds involved in the deal are Kotak Alternate Opportunities India Fund and Kotak India Realty Fund, the report said, adding that both funds have stakes in residential projects across Chennai and Gurugram.

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