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SoftBank may back Reva founder’s battery firm; Canadian funds eye SPV with NIIF

20 September, 2017

Japanese telecom and Internet conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp’s $100-billion Vision Fund is in initial talks to invest up to $100 million (Rs 640 crore) in Sun Mobility Pvt. Ltd, a new venture of Reva Electric founder Chetan Maini, Mint reported citing two people aware of the development.

Sun Mobility is an equal joint venture between Maini’s Virya Mobility 5.0 LLP and Sun Group’s Sun New Energy Systems. The company is developing batteries for electric vehicles. It is led by Chetan Maini and Uday Khemka, vice-chairman of Sun Group.

Sun Group has presence in sectors such as aerospace, oil and gas, mining, real estate, infrastructure, food and beverage, technology and renewable energy, according to its website.

SoftBank Vision Fund is the world’s largest private equity fund and has raised $93 billion from investors including Saudi Arabia’s main sovereign wealth fund, Apple Inc and Japan’s Sharp Corp.

The fund has invested around $2.4 billion in Indian e-commerce company Flipkart and $1.4 billion in Paytm and $250 million in cab aggregator Ola in recent months. It also led a $250-million investment round in budget hotels marketplace OYO earlier this month.

In another report, The Economic Times said that Canadian pension funds PSP Investments and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan are in negotiations to invest Rs 4,000 crore in a special purpose vehicle co-promoted by government-backed National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF).

Citing people directly familiar with the matter, the report said the three funds are negotiating the structure of a possible partnership and that the SPV will provide funding to road projects.

The Indian government had created the NIIF to catalyse capital from international and domestic investors into infrastructure and allied sectors. The government has committed Rs 20,000 crore ($3 billion) to be managed by NIIF Ltd, the manager of the NIIF, through one or more funds to be set up in partnership with other partners.

The NIIF’s investment strategy includes a provision to anchor equity, quasi-equity and debt funds in partnership with investors targeting investments in the relevant sectors in India.

In April, the government said that the NIIF, along with the UK government, had committed to be anchor investors in a private equity fund that aimed to garner $624 million to invest in Indian infrastructure firms.

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SoftBank may back Reva founder’s battery firm; Canadian funds eye SPV with NIIF

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