SEBI may scrap planned listing platform for startups; Blackstone mulls listing malls as REITs
SEBI | Photo Credit: Mukul mudgal/VCCircle

The Securities and Exchange Board of India is looking to scrap the proposed capital raising platform for startups – wherein such firms can raise money from institutions and HNIs under a relaxed regulatory regime - after the concept failed to take off a year after it was proposed.

Now, SEBI is mulling to sweep changes to the listing framework for technology-focused startups that will allow them to trade publicly on regular stock exchange platforms, the Mint reported citing sources privy to the matter.

The proposed changes could involve amendments to as many as 10 SEBI regulations. In June last year, SEBI unveiled a set of new rules that were supposed to make it easier for India’s 3,100-odd start-ups to list on an ‘Alternate Capital Raising Platform', the report said.

Blackstone mulls listing mall properties as REITs

Blackstone, the world's largest alternative investment asset manager, is looking to separately list its mall properties in the country as a real estate investment trust (REIT), the Business Standard reported.

The PE giant, which owns three malls in the country with a total area of two million sq ft, is evaluating the options and is expected to take a call on that in the coming months.

The paper said citing some unidentified expert that its current mall portfolio would get a valuation of Rs 1,800 crore. 

In April, Blackstone bought a million sq ft project, including a mall, being developed by L&T Realty in the Seawoods area of Navi Mumbai, for around Rs 1,400 crore in one of the biggest commercial property deals this year. Last year, it bought two malls of the Alpha G Corp in Amritsar and Ahmedabad, totalling 1.2 mn sq ft, for Rs 800 crore.

Metropolis Healthcare mulls IPO to raise about $150 mn

Mumbai-based pathology chain operator Metropolis Healthcare is looking at its initial public offering to raise as much as Rs 1,000 crore, the Mint reportedciting sources privy to the development.

The proposed IPO would give exit to its existing private equity investor Carlyle Group an opportunity to make a part exit from Metropolis, while Metropolis' promoters will also divest a minority stake through the public issue.

The Shah family—chairman Sushil Shah and his daughter Ameera Shah, managing director and chief executive officer—holds a 63% stake and Carlyle owns 37% in Metropolis.

Metropolis competes with other leading diagnostic chains such as SRL Diagnostics Pvt. Ltd and Dr Lal PathLabs. Recently, Dr Lal PathLabs Ltd and Thyrocare Technologies Ltd went pubic and received robust investor demand.

Dilip Buildcon to launch its IPO by July-end

Mid-sized construction firm Dilip Buildcon Ltd is planning to launch its proposed initial public offering before the end of July, Mint reported. The company has already received approval from the Securities and Exchange Board of India for the IPO plans in March this year.

It has asked its book-running lead managers Axis Capital Ltd, IIFL Holdings, JM Financial Institutional Securities and PNB Investment Services to target the launch of the IPO in the second half of July.

The Bhopal-based company, which builds roads, dams, canals and residential projects, had filed its draft red herring prospectus with Sebi in February with a target of raising at least Rs.430 crore through the IPO.

This is Dilip Buildcon’s second attempt at launching an IPO.

SunEdison sells its roof-top solar power assets in India to Amplus Energy

American solar power developer SunEdison Inc has divested its roof-top solar power assets in India to Amplus Energy Solutions Pvt. Ltd, the roof-top solar power platform of US private equity firm I Squared Capital, the Mint reported.

Amplus has acquired around 7 megawatts (MW) of SunEdison’s roof-top assets, which gives the firm access to new marquee clients, said Sanjeev Aggarwal, managing director and chief executive at Amplus, adding that this is the first effective sale of SunEdison’s assets in India.

The US solar energy company initiated the sale of its Indian assets after its mounting debt led it to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April. In its bankruptcy filing, the company said it had assets of $20.7 billion and liabilities of $16.1 billion as of 30 September 2015.

With the acquisition of SunEdison’s roof-top solar assets, Amplus now has a portfolio of around 30 MW, spread across the country.

Varsity Education Management hires bankers to manage its $300 mn IPO

The Hyderabad-based company Varsity Education Management Ltd, which provides lesson plans to Indian schools, has hired bankers to arrange its proposed initial public offering next year to raise around Rs 2,000 crore (about $300 million), Bloomberg reported.

Varsity Education, backed by South Asia-focused private equity firm New Silk Route, has appointed JM Financial Ltd., IDFC Ltd, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd. for the share sale.

The share sale could value the company at about Rs 10,000 crore.

New Silk Route, which invested in Varsity Education in 2011 and owns about 26 percent, is among investors that plan to sell their stakes in the offering.

Quick Heal Technologies buys IT security firm Junco Technologies

Sequoia Capital-backed antivirus software maker Quick Heal Technologies Ltd has bought IT security firm Junco Technologies, The Economic Times reported

Following the acquisition, Quick Heal will now launch a new line of business Seqrite Services, which will be headed by Junco founder Rohit Srivastwa. Seqrite Services will operate as a division of Seqrite, the enteprise business of Quick Heal, and will offer cyber security consulting services.

Junco Technologies was incubated by the Science & Technology Park, Department of Science &Technology, Government of India.

Italy's Megadyne buys controlling stake in Helicord Transmissions

Italy-based Megadyne S.p.A, which is into the manufacturing of premium polyurethane belts for industrial applications, has bought a controlling equity stake in Chennai-based Helicord Transmissions for an undisclosed amount, The Times of India reported.

The acquisition is part of the Italian firm's efforts to strengthen its presence in the Indian market.

"This represents an opportunity to create a new and formidable range of products which will be combined with Megadyne's own international distribution network to further accelerate the growth," said Prabhakar John Durai, managing director, Helicord. Durai will continue to steer the operations of Helicord.

Helicord Transmissions, which has revenues of about 25 crore, specialises in the manufacturing of power transmission belts.

ChrysCap in talks to sell its 16% stake in Eris Lifesciences

Homegrown private equity fund ChrysCapital has initiated discussions with PE firms to offload its 16% stake in Ahmedabad-based Eris Lifesciences, The Economic Times reported.

ChrysCap, which had picked up the stake in Eris in 2011 for Rs 160 crore, is in talks with Apax Parters, Advent International, Multiples Alternatives, Barings Asia and Carlyle for the stake sale, which will value the drugmaker at about $400-$450 million.

The promoter of Eris might pare some stake if a controlled deal is being worked out. The report said also that ChrysCap last year exited Mankind Pharma, selling its 11% stake to Capital International for as much as $200 million; it had invested $24 million in 2007.

Govt approves package for textile sector

The government has approved a number of incentives for the textiles and garments sector so as to create one crore jobs over the next three years and also to increase exports and investment flows.

The cabinet approved an increase in subsidy under the amended technology upgradation fund scheme from 15% to 25% for the garment sector and enhanced duty drawback coverage for exporters that will include state levies that were not refunded before.

The government will have to shell out Rs 5,500 crore for the enhanced duty drawback coverage. Once this is implemented, it is expected to boost exports by $30 billion and attract investments of Rs 74,000 crore over next three years.

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