Investors line up for Reliance Retail stake; Vodafine Idea becomes ‘Vi’; Odisha nixes Adani’s power plan

Reliance Industries said Silver Lake Partners will invest Rs 7,500 crore in its retail business, as a media report said Middle East sovereign wealth funds are in talks to buy stakes. Vodafone Idea Ltd rebranded itself as 'Vi' at a time the telecom company owes roughly Rs 50,000 crore dues to the government. Odisha’s government potentially upset Adani Power’s plan to buy out an American company's stake in a power utility the state owns. Rating agencies sharply cut their forecast for India’s economic growth this fiscal year.

Business Standard
12th September

  • Reliance Industries said US private equity firm Silver Lake Partners will invest Rs 7,500 crore in its retail business, helping the Mukesh Ambani-controlled company widen its lead as the country's largest retailer. KKR & Co. is in advanced talks to invest Rs 11,250 crore in Reliance Retail. Middle East sovereign wealth funds could be next in line.
  • Rating agencies sharply cut their forecast for India’s economic growth this fiscal year, after official data showed a sharper-than-expected GDP contraction in the June quarter. Fitch expects GDP to contract 10.5 per cent in FY21, compared to its earlier estimate of 5 per cent. Goldman Sachs, which had earlier projected an 11.8 per cent contraction, has now estimated it at 14.8 per cent.
  • Vodafone Idea Ltd said it is rebranding itself after the loss-making telecom company’s board approved fundraising of up to Rs 25,000 crore at a time it owes roughly Rs 50,000 crore dues to the government. Vodafone Idea, a joint venture between Britain's Vodafone Group and India's Idea Cellular, said it will go by the brand name "Vi".
  • The Odisha government decided to exercise its right of first refusal to buy for Rs 1,000 crore a 49 per cent equity stake held by US-based AES Corporation in a state-owned power utility. Odisha's decision upsets Adani Power’s plan to buy out AES’s stake and is a "surprising reversal" of its privatisation policy, said analysts.
  • Private equity giant Silver Lake led a $500 million funding round for Byju’s that valued the online education platform at around $10.8 billion. Byju’s had almost doubled its revenue from Rs 1,430 crore to Rs 2,800 crore in FY20 and is inching towards the $1-billion revenue milestone.
  • A committee set up by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to make recommendations on restructuring loans for the banking sector has submitted its report and it has been broadly accepted by the central bank. The K V Kamath committee has recommended five financial ratios such as total outstanding liabilities, total debt and debt service coverage ratio for 26 sectors which could be factored in by lenders while finalizing resolution plans for borrowers.
  • India's drug regulator served a notice to Serum Institute of India for saying it would proceed with clinical trials of a Covid-19 vaccine candidate though Britain’s AstraZeneca has announced pausing its research of the possible inoculation to review an “unexplained illness” in one of the participants. Serum said it will follow the regulator’s instructions.

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