India Digest: RIL may sell Asian Paints stake; Welspun to buy Essel’s toll road project

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Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) is reportedly looking to sell its 4.9 per cent stake in Asian Paints Ltd., which is currently valued at about $989 million. Separately, Welspun Enterprises Ltd is acquiring a toll road project from Essel Group.

RIL plans to sell 4.9% stake in Asian Paints

Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) is looking to sell its 4.9 per cent stake in India’s largest paint maker Asian Paints Ltd., which is currently valued at about $989 million, Bloomberg reported.

The Indian conglomerate, which holds stake in Asian Paints through Teesta Retail Pvt Ltd., is in talks with banks to execute the sale through a series of block trades as it looks to pare debt, the report said. RIL in a statement, however, has denied the development.

On April 30, RIL announced its mega plan to raise about 531 billion rupees in a rights offer. The decision came days after Facebook Inc. said it would pay $5.7 billion to buy a 10% stake in Jio Platforms, Reliance’s digital arm. Private equity firms Silver Lake and Vista Equity Partners are also investing $750 million and $1.5 billion, respectively, in Jio Platforms.

Last week, Reliance reported a 39% slump in March quarter profit, hit by a sharp fall in oil prices and lower fuel demand.

Welspun to acquire toll road project from Essel

Welspun Enterprises Ltd, part of the $2.7 billion Welspun Group, Thursday said that it plans to acquire a build-operate-transfer (BOT) toll project from Essel Group’s company Mukarba Chowk – Panipat Toll Roads Limited (MCPTRL).

Welspun said, it is routing the acquisition through its subsidiary, Welspun Infrafacility Private Limited, by way of harmonious substitution, which was recommended by the project lenders and subsequently approved by NHAI.

MCPTRL has so far completed 31% of the 71.1-kilometer-long Mukarba Chowk-Panipat Highway (NH-44) project. The original total project cost was estimated to be Rs2,122 crore out of which Rs 1,593 crore is the balance to be incurred, to complete the project.

All existing lenders to the project have agreed to continue financing it, Welspun said, adding that it expects to complete the project by June 2021.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.