Vodafone may exit Indus Towers; HDFC eyes control of GIC-backed Can Fin Homes
Photo Credit: Shah Junaid/VCCircle

Telecom major Vodafone is in advanced talks to sell its 42% stake in Indus Towers Ltd to tower infrastructure firm Bharti Infratel Ltd for $5 billion (Rs 32,076 crore) through a share swap, The Economic Times reported, citing two people aware of the development.

Bharti Infratel already holds a 42% stake in Indus and raising its stake to 84% is likely to revive investor interest in the company, the report added.

The deal value could change as cancellation of tower rental agreements due to consolidation in the sector will impact the valuation of Indus, the report said.

Meanwhile, Housing Development Finance Corporation Ltd (HDFC) is looking to acquire a controlling stake in state-run Canara Bank’s housing finance arm, Can Fin Homes Ltd, The Economic Times reported, citing people aware of the development.

This will involve acquiring the entire 30% stake of Canara Bank, the report said.

The report cited a source as saying that discussions between Canara Bank and HDFC continue amid interest shown by many private equity players and some rival banks.

Canara Bank will shortlist buyers by February 22, the report said.

In March 2017, Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte Ltd had bought a 13.45% stake in Can Fin from Canara Bank for Rs 753.77 crore ($113 million). Canara Bank had then said the deal was part of its plan to sell non-core assets.

Separately, power generation company CLP India Pvt. Ltd is looking to enter the transmission business through acquisitions, Mint reported, citing two people aware of the development.

CLP India is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed CLP Holdings, which entered the country in 2002 with the acquisition of a 655-megawatt gas-fired power plant at Bharuch in Gujarat.

The report cited one of the persons as saying that CLP is looking at acquiring transmission assets because they offer fixed returns.

CLP has operational and committed renewable energy capacity of more than 1,000 MW in India. Its only solar power project, with a capacity of 100 MW, is under construction in Telangana. It has thermal energy capacity of 1,975 MW in India, according to its website.

In another development, a consortium-led by Essar Steel promoter’s son, Rewant Ruia, is likely to make an all-cash offer of $5-6 billion (Rs 33,000-40,000 crore) to retain control of the debt-laden steel maker, The Times of India reported.

Rewant will hold a stake of at least 26% Nu Metal Corporation, the consortium vehicle which will bid for Essar Steel. Russia’s VTB will be the largest shareholder with a stake of more than 40% in Nu Metal, the report said.

It added that steelmakers ArcelorMittal and Nippon Steel are likely to make a joint bid for Essar Steel.

Bidding for Essar Steel will open next week, according to the report.

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