Samunnati Financial seeks PE funding; Essel Infraprojects plans to sell road assets
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Non-banking financial company Samunnati Financial Intermediation and Services Pvt. Ltd is in talks with private equity firms General Atlantic and Warburg Pincus to raise around $50-70 million, the Mint newspaper reported, citing two people aware of the development.

The fundraise will help the farm-focussefd NBFC grow its loan book and expand its branch network, the report said. Investment bank Kotak Mahindra Capital is advising Samunnati on the fundraise, it added.

The development comes exactly a year after Samunnati raised Rs 150 crore from Swiss impact investor responsAbility Investments AG and existing investors Accel and Elevar Equity. 

Incorporated in 2014, Samunnati provides secured and unsecured loans to farmers, farmer producer organisations, community-based organisations and agricultural enterprises. The company began active operations as an NBFC from July 2016.

In another report, Mint said that media baron Subhash Chandra-led Essel Infraprojects Ltd is looking to sell six road projects as part of efforts to raise funds for setting up a plant to make lithium-ion batteries that are used in electric vehicles. 

Citing three people close to the development, the report said that Essel is in talks with infrastructure developers and PE firms for the planned sale. It is seeking a combined enterprise value of Rs 11,500 crore, it added.

The report said that Essel has been in talks with I Squared Capital-backed road developer Cube Highways and Infrastructure, billionaire Gautam Adani-led Adani Enterprises, Canadian pension funds CDPQ, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and PSP Investments-controlled highways platform Roadis.

Meanwhile, The Economic Times reported that RJ Corp-owned Varun Beverages Ltd is in talks to acquire PepsiCo Inc.’s bottling, sales and distribution operations for its carbonated drinks business in southern and western India.

If the deal goes through, Varun Beverages will get nationwide control of these functions, the report said, citing two executives aware of the development.

Varun Beverages already runs PepsiCo’s bottling operations in the north and east and contributes more than 51% to its India’s sales volume.
For Pepsi, such a transaction will be in line with its global strategy to run asset-light businesses and operate most of its bottling operations through franchisee partners, the report said. 

In another development, SBI Capital Markets and Stock Holding Corporation of India have entered the fray to acquire the stockbroking arm of IDFC, The Economic Times reported, citing three people familiar with the development.

The new suitors come after IDFC called a fresh round of bids, the report said. Previously, ace dealmakers Dharmesh Mehta and Vikas Khemani as well as InCred Finance had showed interest in acquiring IDFC Securities, VCCircle reported in November.

The Economic Times also said that most new bids have come in around Rs 120 crore, lower than the Rs 150 crore that IDFC is expecting. IDFC Securities posted sales of Rs 100 crore and net profit of Rs 23 crore for the year ended March 2018.

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