India Digest: Reliance Jio eyes Haptik; KKR to divest HDFC stake; PFC buys REC 

Photo: Mint

In the M&A space, Reliance Jio Digital Services Pvt is close to buying a majority stake in artificial intelligence-based conversational platform Haptik while KKR is set to divest its existing shares in Housing Development Finance Corp (HDFC). In another development, Power Finance Corporation (PFC) announced that it has completed the buyout of Rural Electrification Corporation (REC).

Reliance Jio close to buying Haptik

Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio Digital Services Pvt is close to buying a majority stake in artificial intelligence-based conversational platform Haptik, according to media reports.

While the exact deal size could not be ascertained, it is expected to be over Rs 200 crore. It is understood that Reliance Jio and Haptik founders Aakrit Vaish and Swapan Rajdev have already signed the board resolution and Business Transfer Agreement in February.

The deal, when it fructifies, will pave the way for an exit for Times Internet, which is currently Haptik’s majority stakeholder.

KKR to offload its holding in HDFC for $300m

KKR is close to offloading its existing shares in Housing Development Finance Corp (HDFC) for about $300 million at a 15 per cent gain, reported The Times of India.

The private equity behemoth had invested in HDFC about 15 months ago via a preferential share allotment. The development is rather unusual as private equity firms typically keep a 3-4 year investment horizon before adopting any exit options.

KKR had picked up the shares at Rs 1,726 apiece in January 2018, while the other investors were Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC and Canadian pension fund OMERS. Per the report, GIC is also expected to divest a part of its holdings with uncertainty gripping the capital markets with general elections in India around the corner.

PFC completes buyout of REC 

Power Finance Corporation (PFC) announced that it has completed the buyout of Rural Electrification Corporation (REC). The move will help bring synergies between the two state-owned units and eventually lead to their merger, per media reports.

The transaction is in line with the India government’s disinvestment target of Rs 80,000 crore for the current financial year. In December 2018, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had approved the sale of the government’s 52.63 per cent shareholding to PFC.