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Patanjali may partner Godrej Agrovet for Ruchi Soya bid; SEBI probes Manpasand
Photo Credit: Shah Junaid/VCCircle

Baba Ramdev-backed Patanjali Ayurved, which has made a bid for Ruchi Soya Industries, is in discussions to rope in Godrej Agrovet as a partner for the bid, Mint reported, citing two people in the know.

Citing people, the report said Patanjali may sell Ruchi Soya’s palm-oil plantation assets to an external buyer if its bid is successful.

Ruchi Soya is in the midst of insolvency resolution proceedings initiated by the National Company Law Tribunal following petitions from creditors Standard Chartered Bank and DBS Bank.

Patanjali is mainly interested in acquiring the brands of Ruchi Soya, said a person in the report.

Ruchi Soya sells food products and edible oils under the brands Nutrela, Mahakosh, Sunrich, Ruchi Gold and Ruchi Star.

Balram Singh Yadav, managing director of Godrej Agrovet, told the financial daily the firm is not in talks to partner any organisation in order to bid for Ruchi Soya.

In another development, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and the ministry of corporate affairs have initiated separate investigations into fruit juice maker Manpasand Beverages over alleged non-disclosures and possible accounting lapses, Mint reported, citing two people aware of the development.

SEBI is examining the company for alleged disclosure lapses on fund-raising in its annual reports as well as governance lapses, the report said, citing a person.

A Manpasand spokesperson told the financial daily they have not received any query from SEBI and the corporate affairs ministry.

The SAIF Partners-backed company plunged into turmoil after it revealed on 28 May that Deloitte had resigned as its auditor.

Deloitte had said in its resignation letter on 26 May that it was resigning because Manpasand had not provided it with “significant information”, which it had requested several times for the purposes of auditing the financial results and that it would not be able to audit the company’s books.

Manpasand, however, denied any such inaction on its part.

“While there could have been some delays but we have never denied sharing any information with them ever,” the company said.

Separately, vernacular social networking platform ShareChat is in the last stage of sealing a funding round of Rs 670 crore ($100 million), led by Chinese electronics maker Xiaomi, its founder Lei Jun’s venture capital fund Shunwei Capital, and Hong Kong-based Morningside Ventures,, The Times of India reported, citing people in the know.

As a result of the deal, the social network will get valued at $400 million (Rs 2,680 crore), the report said.

Russian billionaire Yuri Milner’s Apoletto Managers may also participate in the funding round, the report added.

Founded in 2015, ShareChat allows users to create, discover and share content such as videos, jokes, songs and images.

In January, ShareChat had raised Rs 116.31 crore ($18.2 million) in a Series B round led by Xiaomi.

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