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Zee may sell stake to Sony; Baring PE Asia to buy AGS Health
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Media baron Subhash Chandra-led Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd is in advanced talks to sell 20-25% stake to Sony Corporation and form a strategic partnership with the Japanese conglomerate, three people in the know told Mint.

The transaction will allow Chandra to repay promoter debt worth Rs 13,000 crore, the report added.

The two negotiating parties are currently discussing valuations and Chandra expects a 30% premium from the stake sale, one of the persons mentioned above told Mint.

One of the persons mentioned above also told the business daily that Chandra wants to hold at least a 20% stake in the company while another said that Sony wants at least a 25% stake to have promoter rights. Reliance Industries Ltd had also put in a bid for the company but the negotiations did not materialise, the report added, citing the second person in the know.

In November 2018, Essel Group, which owns Zee and holds 41.62% stake, had said it was looking to sell half of its holding in the entity.

Baring PE’s latest acquisition

Hong Kong-headquartered alternative asset management firm Baring Private Equity Asia will acquire AGS Health, a medical revenue cycle management company, for $320 million (Rs 2,230 crore), The Times of India reported, citing people directly in the know.

Baring PE Asia emerged as the preferred bidder, surpassing competitor Everstone Capital, thanks to its better shareholder agreements, the persons mentioned above told ToI.

AGS Health provides medical billing, medical coding and business analytics services to healthcare providers across the US and India. It employs over 5,000 specialists in the two countries, working across 50 billing systems and electronic medical records, and has processed $35 billion transactions, its website states.

Last year, VCCircle reported that baring PE Asia was on the road to raise its second India-dedicated private credit fund.

PE firms win bid for Avanse Financial

Private equity firms Kedaara Capital and Warburg Pincus have emerged as the winning bidders to buy 80% stake in education finance firm Avanse Financial Services, owned by Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd (DHFL), a report in The Economic Times stated.

The two PE companies will buy the stake for Rs 1,100-1,200 crore, the report added citing two people in the know.

The stake sale is part of the Wadhawan Global’s, the holding firm for DHFL, efforts to cut debt and ease liquidity conditions.

To address these issues, the group will sell non-core businesses and build up capital, the persons mentioned above told ET.

Wadhawan Global owns 49% in Avanse. DHFL holds 31% stake while the International Finance Corporation, the investment arm of the World Bank, owns the rest, the report stated.

Other PE firms who had bid for Avanse were CX Partners and Advent Partners. EY India and Prime Research and Advisory were the advisers for the deal, the ET report added.

Last month, DHFL said it would bring on board a strategic investor and divest stake in Avanse Financial and its insurance business to reduce its debt and to ease investor concerns over claims of alleged financial mismanagement which saw its shares take a plunge.

NBCC sweetens Jaypee Infratech bid for banks, home buyers

Public sector entity NBCC India Ltd has devised a plan to assuage concerns not only of 350 home buyers but also the lenders of debt-laden real estate developer Jaypee Infratech, several media reports have stated.

The state-run infrastructure company said it would invest Rs 500 crore into Jaypee by selling 2,000 acres of land and 6,000 unsold flats, a report in Business Standard stated.

Further, it assured affected home buyers that it will present them with a tower-wise completion plan and the cost of construction, the report added. 

A separate report by The Times of India stated that NBCC promised to deliver the flats to home buyers in three years.

It may also buy a small stake in the special purpose vehicle that will allow it to oversee the Taj Expressway project and to develop 1,000 acres of land which is with lenders, The Times of India reported.

NBCC said it will service the expressway till it is completed, offering banks a better deal, the report said.

Besides NBCC, Suraksha Asset Reconstruction Company is also in the race to acquire Jaypee Infratech’s assets and its lender IDBI Bank will hear the bids of both firms on Thursday, the ToI report added.

The government’s backing as well as support to Jaypee’s home buyers have put NBCC in a favourable position to win the bid, the report added.

Bounce’s plan to raise $50 mn

Bengaluru-based dockless scooter sharing platform Bounce is in discussions to raise $50 million from B Capital, the venture capital firm of Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, a report in Mint stated, citing three persons in the know.

Investors from the US, Taiwan and Japan have also indicated interest in the company and the round may go up to $70 million, the report added.

Bounce is looking to dilute 25-30% and expects its valuation to shoot up, the second person cited above told Mint.

Run by Wickedride Adventure Services Pvt. Ltd, the venture was set up in 2014 by Vivekananda HR, Varun Agni and Anil G. The company initially offered motorbikes and scooters on rental primarily for urban commuters under the brand Metro Bikes. In August last year, it rebranded itself to Bounce.

In November 2018, it acquired the local assets of Chinese bicycle sharing firm Ofo, which allowed it to offer a dockless bicycle sharing service. While it changed its business model to the dockless scooter sharing service, it continues running its rental business.

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