Nexus Venture Partners may raise $400 mn in 5th fund; Future Group eyes Foodworld
Photo Credit: Bhakti Nair/VCCircle

Homegrown venture capital firm Nexus Venture Partners is looking to raise its fifth fund with a target corpus of $350-400 million, The Economic Times reported citing three people aware of the development.

The report quoted one of the above-mentioned persons as saying that more than half the corpus will be invested in US companies, with a focus on software firms.

Nexus has invested in about 75 startups focusing on consumer retail, business services, healthcare, education and enterprise technology. Its prominent bets include Snapdeal, Delhivery, OLX, ShopClues, Stayzilla and RoadRunnr.

In a separate report, Kishore Biyani-led Future Group is believed to be in advanced talks to buy south India-focused supermarket chain Foodworld Supermarkets Pvt Ltd.

According to an Economic Times report which cited several people aware of the development, both parties have met over the past five months and a share-swap deal with a minor cash component could be on the cards.

Foodworld has a network of nearly 150 grocery stores. It also sells personal and beauty care products through a chain of outlets under the name Health and Glow.

As of March 31, 2016, Arko Enterprises held 51% stake in the company and the rest was held by Health and Glow Retailing Pvt. Ltd.

In 2016-17, the company’s total income stood at Rs 439.92 crore and profit after tax was Rs 5.09 crore, according to VCCEdge, the data intelligence platform of VCCircle.

Last year, Future Retail Ltd had acquired K Raheja Corp group company Hypercity Retail (India) Ltd for Rs 655 crore ($100 million) in a cash-and-stock deal.

The company has been looking to integrate its digital and brick-and-mortar retail businesses and was recently said to be in talks to acquire Vulcan Express, the logistics arm of e-commerce firm Snapdeal.

In another report, Bengaluru-headquartered small finance bank licencee Janalakshmi Financial Services Pvt. Ltd has received Rs 600-700 crore (around $100 million) in funding from a clutch for new investors, Mint reported citing two people aware of the development.

Global private markets investment firm HarbourVest has led the funding round, which closed recently, with an investment of Rs 250-260 crore, one of the above-mentioned persons was quoted as saying.

In an earlier funding round last September, Janalakshmi Financial had raised Rs 1,030 crore ($161 million).

The company is in the process of changing its name to Jana Small Finance Bank and will soon approach the Reserve Bank of India for approvals, according to the report.

Meanwhile, private equity firm Everstone Capital and AION Capital Partners - a joint private equity fund sponsored and run by Apollo Global and ICICI Venture are bidding seperately to buy a significant minority stake in Kerala-based private sector lender Catholic Syrian Bank, The Times of India reported citing people aware of the development.

The bank is looking to raise about $100 million by selling 4.99% stake each to a clutch of six investors, according to the report.

“Everstone Capital and AION Capital Partners want a large enough stake with a board seat, and are not happy with a 4.9% stake in a syndicated deal,” the report quoted one of the above-mentioned persons as saying.

The bank’s chairman TS Anantharaman told the newspaper that they can offer only 4.99% to individual bidders and anything more than that would need approval from the Reserve Bank of India. He added that binding bids will be received by Monday.

The development comes after negotiations between the private sector lender and Canadian billionaire Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Financial Holdings hit a roadblock.

The bank has given JM Financial the mandate to find buyers, according to the report.

Carlyle’s Narayanan to quit

Carlyle Group veteran Shankar Narayanan, who is managing director and co-head for the Asian growth fund, is leaving the private equity firm, The Times of India reported.

Narayanan’s departure comes at the time when Carlyle is raising a new growth fund. The PE firm had merged its buyout and growth teams in 2017.

Narayanan led the firm’s investments in Edelweiss Financial Services, Tirumala Milk Products, Repco Home Finance, Claris Life Sciences and South Indian Bank. He is likely to set up his own private equity fund, the report added.

Tata Group may consolidate PE funds

Tata Group’s private equity arm may consolidate separate funds into one large fund, The Times of India reported. Tata Capital operates five funds under Tata Capital Growth, Tata Opportunities Fund, Tata Innovations Fund, Tata Capital’s special situations fund and Tata Healthcare fund. A final decision on the move to consolidate has not been made yet, the report said.

The planned move comes after Rajiv Sabharwal took charge as Tata Capital’s new CEO this month.

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