Deal Talk: Jio backs Kalaari fund; Blackstone in twin exit moves

 Deal Talk: Jio backs Kalaari fund; Blackstone in twin exit moves

Early-stage venture capital firm Kalaari Capital has received a $100 million commitment from Jio Platforms Ltd, the digital services arm of oil-to-telecom conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd, a media report said.

According to the report by The Economic Times, Kalaari has the option to raise an additional $100 million from Jio Platforms or other venture investors over the next 12-18 months. The move will strengthen the VC firm’s foothold in the technology startups space.

Vani Kola-led Kalaari has invested in a string of Indian e-commerce companies such as Mantra and Urban Ladder. IT was looking to raise $200 million for its fourth India-dedicated fund to invest in tech startups.

Carlyle eyes Mphasis

US buyout giant The Carlyle Group has emerged as the top bidder with a $3 billion (Rs 21,750 crore) offer to acquire Blackstone’s controlling stake in Mumbai-listed software services firm Mphasis Ltd, The Economic Times reported.

This may be the largest PE buyout in the sector, the report said.

Carlyle has tapped half a dozen banks and investors to co-sponsor the acquisitionThese include Deutsche Bank, Barclays, Standard Chartered Bank, Nomura and Canadian pension fund CPPIB, which may offer mezzanine debt. JP Morgan, which is advising Carlyle on the acquisition, may also join the consortium, the report added.

Blackstone acquired Mphasis from Hewlett Packard Enterprise in 2016 and shelled out Rs 5,466 crore ($827 million then). The PE firm owned a little over 56% stake at the end of December 2020.

Blackstone plans Sona Comstar IPO

In another development involving a Blackstone portfolio company, Pune-based auto component maker Sona Comstar is looking to raise Rs 6,000 crore through an initial public offering (IPO), The Economic Times reported.

Blackstone may sell some of its stake in what may be the largest public markets offering by an Indian auto component company. The PE giant has hired Credit Suisse, Nomura, JP Morgan, JM Financial and Kotak Mahindra Capital to arrange the share sale, the report added.

Mobikwik hires bankers for IPO

Homegrown fintech company MobiKwik has appointed ICICI Securities and IIFL as it initiates plans to float an IPO, according to a report by the Mint newspaper.

The company is looking to go public in 2022 and is in discussions with a few more merchant banks to join the syndicate managing the IPO. The offering may be a combination of a fresh issue of shares and a secondary sale to provide an exit to existing shareholders, the report added.

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