Reliance Capital, part of Anil Ambani-promoted Reliance Group, is learnt to have emerged as the highest nonbinding bidder for the 24% stake being divested by promoter Financial Technologies India (FTIL) in India's largest commodity bourse MCX, two persons aware of the development said. FTIL holds 26% in MCX. "Reliance Capital has bid at over Rs750 a share, which is higher than Rs600-750 that the other prospective bidders quoted and is closer to the price expected by the promoters of MCX," said one of the persons. However, this was a non-binding bid and FTIL's decision on whom it would sell the stake to would be taken on April 25. () 

Grocery e-tailer BigBasket in talks to raise Rs 300 crore: Online grocery company BigBasket is in talks with private equity firms in the United States and India to raise over Rs 300 crore ($50 million) over the next few months. BigBasket will use the funds to expand to seven cities, such as Delhi, Chennai, Pune and Ahmedabad, as investors begin to regard the segment as one of the promising within the online retail industry. With over 10,000 products and over a 1,000 brands, BigBasket delivers food items such as fruits, vegetables, bakery, dairy products and frozen foods, to customers in Bangalore, Mumbai and Hyderabad. () 

Perpetuuiti TechnoSoft looking to raise Rs 120 crore in fresh funding: Disaster recovery solutions provider Perpetuuiti TechnoSoft is looking to raise up to $20 million (Rs 120 crore) in a fresh funding, as the Singapore-based product technology company expands its footprint in new geographies. The company which counts Intel Capital, the venture capital arm of technology giant Intel Corp, as its sole institutional investor, will look to use the proceeds from the new round to build it sales and marketing team in the US, and expand its presence in Asia Pacific, Europe and Australia. If successful, this will be the three year-old company's second round of institutional funding, after it raised an undisclosed sum estimated at between $6 million and $8 million-from Intel Capital last year. ()  

JSW Steel in Talks to Acquire Welspun Arm for Rs 1,000 Cr: JSW Steel, India’s thirdlargest steel maker, has begun talks to purchase smaller rival Welspun Maxsteel for about Rs 1,000 crore ($166 million), two people familiar with the development said, a move aimed at sourcing cheaper raw material, cutting down production costs and strengthening presence in the northern and western market. JSW Ispat, a subsidiary of JSW Steel and which owns a 3 million tonne steel plant at Dolvi in Raigad district of Maharashtra, buys sponge iron, a raw material to make high grade steel, from nearby Welspun Maxsteel plant. The acquisition will help JSW, owned by billionaire Sajjan Jindal, secure continuous supply of cheaper raw material as it plans to expand its Dolvi capacity to 5 million tonne. (The Economic Times) 

Air India to raise bridge loan of $500 million for buying 4 Dreamliners: Expecting deliveries of five more Dreamliners between May and November, Air India plans to raise bridge loan of $500 million (Rs 3,007 crore) to finance the purchase of four of these aircraft and use them to launch flights to new destinations like Moscow, Rome and Milan. The national carrier, which has already inducted 13 Boeing 787 Dreamliners, expects deliveries of two more such planes in May, while another three of the total 27 ordered are slated to be delivered by the US manufacturer Boeing in June, August and November. To mop up resources to stem its liabilities, Air India has also issued tenders to sell three Boeing 777-200 LRs (Long Range), four months after selling five of them to Abu Dhabi- based Etihad Airways. This sale had led the airline to reduce its debt burden by nearly $350 million, they said. (The Times of India)  

Gitanjali seeks Rs 1,700 crore more in loan: Jewellery firm Gitanjali Gems, which owns brands such as Nakshatra, Gili, Sangini and Asmi, is seeking to raise an additional loan of Rs 1,700 crore ($281 million) in the second attempt to revive its business. The Mehul Choksi-run company, which suffered due to depreciation of the rupee against the US dollar and restriction on gold imports, has an outstanding loan of Rs 4,285 crore ($709 million). The lenders met on April 10 in their third meeting in two months to work out a debt recast package, people familiar with the matter said, adding none of the lenders has yet given consent for the additional loan. Among the lenders, Punjab National Bank has the highest exposure of Rs 480 crore to the company, followed by Allahabad Bank at Rs 400 crore and ICICI Bank at Rs 335 crore. (The Times of India) 

Three companies in final lap to buy Aviva stake in joint venture: Aviva Plc has shortlisted Birla Sun Life Insurance, HDFC Life Insurance and Max Life Insurance to sell the British group's 26% stake in its Indian insurance joint venture that has made little headway since starting operations a decade ago, a person with knowledge of the matter said. The Burmans of Dabur, the majority shareholders of Aviva India, may also tag along and sell their stake because the family feels the investment has been underperforming, the person said. The three shortlisted companies , which are among six that had initially bid for the stake, are interested in buying the entire business, and not just the 26% that Aviva holds, the person added. Aviva had appointed JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank to manage the share sale. Valuation is likely at over Rs 5,000 crore ($827.76 million). (The Times of India) 

Tech start-up WebEngage in talks with venture capitalists: Mumbai-based tech start-up WebEngage, offering customer engagement tools for online businesses such e-commerce portals, is looking to raise Series B funding from venture capitalists. According to Avlesh Singh, co-founder and CEO, WebEngage, details will be finalised by December. It had earlier raised an undisclosed amount from Indian Angels in 2011; and, in 2012, it raised $500,000 from New York-based VTI Capital. The company is in talks with several venture capitalists (VCs) and is awaiting the right valuation to take a call. The deal might be through by this year-end, Singh told. (Business Line) 

Karbonn plans to offload up to 20% stake: India’s third largest mobile handset vendor Karbonn Mobiles is planning to offload a 15-20 per cent stake to fund overseas expansion. According to Shashin Devsare, Executive Director, Karbonn, the company has already been approached by several private equity players. However, it is yet to take a call on whether to opt for private equity or bring in a new partner. A final call is likely to take place by the second half of this fiscal (around September). The company is a 50-50 joint venture between Jaina Group (of Delhi) and Bangalore’s United Telelinks Ltd. (Business line) 

Acquisitions on mind, Havells eyes Slyvania stake sale, listing: Electrical goods maker Havells is mulling either a minority stake sale or a listing of its international subsidiary, Slyvania, to raise funds for acquisitions. Slyvania’s global president Rajiv Goel told Business Standard the company was contemplating offloading 15-30% of equity in next 12-18 months. He said the enterprise valuation sought was in excess of Rs 2,000 crore, the price Havells paid in 2007 to acquire Slyvania. He said the firm was speaking to private equity investors and merchant bankers for its fundraising plans. The plans for global acquisitions come as Havells, with operations in 42 countries through Slyvania, eyes more markets, as well as product categories to grow its business. (Business Standard) 

Wipro closing in on a large acquisition: Wipro Technologies, whose financial performance has largely stabilised lately, is understood to be closing in on a mid- to large-sized acquisition that could be valued more that $400 million (around Rs 2,414 crore). The company is evaluating a few fairly large options in geographies like the US and Germany. The company's merger & acquisition team is learnt to be working overtime to ensure the deal is closed in the current quarter. (Business Standard)

Courtesy: VCCEdge

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