SWFs eye Reliance Group’s stake in mutual fund; CDPQ, others circle Delhi-Agra road
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Three West Asian sovereign wealth funds are eyeing Anil Ambani group’s $1 billion (Rs 7,103 crore at current exchange rate) stake in an asset management firm run in partnership with Japan's Nippon Life Insurance Co., people in the know told The Times of India.

Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), Investment Corporation of Dubai and Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) are in the race for Reliance Capital’s 42.88% stake in Reliance Nippon Life Asset Management; joint venture partner Nippon Life holds the same amount of stake.

The news comes after Reliance Capital, which has management control over the asset management firm, offered last week its entire stake to Nippon Life. 

Reliance Capital’s efforts to sell the stake come in line with a corporate-restructuring exercise that aims to sharpen focus on other opportunities such as health insurance.

Meanwhile, two Canadian pension funds and one Italian toll road operator have filed non-binding offers for Reliance Infrastructure’s Delhi-Agra toll road, persons in the know told The Economic Times.

Canada’s Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec (CDPQ) and PSP Investments, and Italy’s Atlantia SpA are eyeing the 180-km, six-lane road with an estimated enterprise value of Rs 4,000 crore ($563 million at current exchange rate), the people said.

Reliance Infrastructure’s debt has dropped 65% to Rs 7,000 crore, after asset sales such as the Mumbai power and cement business in the past few years. With the road sale, the debt could drop to less than Rs 5,000 crore, the report said.

The road project, which is profitable, clocked revenue growth of 25% for 2017-18, said the report, adding that the concession period lasts till 2038 and the tolling operations began in October 2012. Revenue is expected to rise to Rs 250 crore for 2018-19 with Rs 100 crore profit before tax for the period, the report said. In 2010, Reliance Infrastructure had won the Rs 2,960 crore project from the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).

In another development, Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd is gearing up to go public in the near future, two people aware of the development told Mint

“It may go public after June and the company expects a good response,” one of the two people told Mint on the condition of anonymity.  

Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) operates its retail business through Reliance Retail Ventures, which operates more than 9,900 stores in over 6,400 cities across India -- that is more than the stores of all other organised retailers put together, the report said. Future Retail, the country’s second-largest retailer, operates nearly 1,400 stores in 400 cities. 

Separately, private equity firm KKR and Co. has offered Rs 3,100 crore ($436 million) for the 20.4% stake held by Café Coffee Day (CCD) founder VG Siddhartha in information technology (IT) services firm Mindtree Ltd, two people in the know told Mint.

This makes KKR the highest bidder. Previously, KKR had offered up to Rs 850 a share, or around Rs 2,800 crore, to buy Siddhartha’s stake. That offer had come with a condition that sole control be handed over to Mindtree through an open offer involving an additional purchase of five per cent stake from promoters or existing public shareholders, Mint said. The latest offer, Mint said, states KKR will not purchase any additional stake at the moment to seize control from existing Mindtree promoters, who own 13.32% stake in the IT firm and are reluctant to give up control.

But, as part of its latest offer, KKR has demanded co-promotership in Mindtree.

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