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Grapevine: Modern Foods buys 75% of Supreme Baker; Naspers may back ElasticRun

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Grapevine: Modern Foods buys 75% of Supreme Baker; Naspers may back ElasticRun

Everstone Capital-backed Modern Foods has acquired a 75% stake in Delhi-based Supreme Baker India Pvt. Ltd, two people aware of the development told Mint.

The value of the transaction could not be ascertained, the report said. According to the people, the transaction was primarily driven by Modern Foods’ strategy to re-enter the lucrative Delhi-NCR market.

In 2016, Everstone Group’s packaged foods platform Everfoods had acquired Hindustan Unilever Ltd’s bread and bakery business under the Modern brand.

In Delhi-NCR, Modern Foods will compete with two major bread brands— Harvest Gold and Mrs. Bector’s English Oven—which have the highest market share. Britannia and Oven Fresh are the other brands operating in the region, the report added.

Separately, logistics and distribution startup ElasticRun is in talks to raise up to $55 million (Rs 397 crore at current exchange rate) in a round led by South African internet and media group Naspers at a valuation of $250 million, many people aware of the matter told The Economic Times.

NTEx Transportation Services Pvt. Ltd, which owns and operates ElasticRun, received close to Rs 60 crore in August last year from Norwest Venture Partners and Kalaari Capital.

In another development, Synergy Group Corp., one of the three potential investors for Jet Airways (India) Ltd, is willing to buy a majority stake if the lenders agree to take a deep haircut and convert their debt into equity, a representative of the South American company told Mint.

Synergy Aerospace, which runs several airlines in South America, wants to take a 51% stake in the airline, he added. However, since foreign airlines are allowed to buy a maximum of 49% in a local airline, the deal may hit a regulatory hurdle.

“Synergy Group’s investment in Jet will depend on how open and available the banks will be to a haircut and conversion of their debt into equity,” Antonio Guizzetti, president of Washington-based Guizzetti & Associates, legal adviser to Synergy Group on the Jet acquisition, said.

While the lenders had received expressions of interest (EoIs) from Panama-based Avantulo Group and Russian fund Treasury RA Creator just before the earlier deadline of 10 August, Synergy Group submitted its EoI just after the deadline.

Guizzetti said that if Synergy Group is allowed to invest in Jet, it will capitalise the new company and make further equity infusion.

Separately, Cox & Kings, a troubled Indian travel company, is exploring a sale of its European hospitality chain Meininger Hotels to cut debt, people with knowledge of the matter told The Times of India.

Berlin-based Meininger operates 28 budget hotels in Europe, the report said.

Also, Mehli Mistry, cousin of ousted Tata group chairman Cyrus Mistry, picked up a 20% stake for an undisclosed amount in insulin product manufacturer MJ Biopharm, persons in the know told The Times of India.

Mehli has routed the investment in MJ Biopharm through group flagship M Pallonji and Company and has one seat on the board of the drug producer.

In another development, Sical Logistics, a Coffee Day Group-owned multimodal logistics services firm, is in exploratory talks with DP World (formerly Dubai Ports World) and some other investors including Adani Group for the sale of assets including Sical Iron Ore Terminals Ltd to slash the group’s debt.

Sical’s assets in Ennore’s Kamarajar Port, including dedicated iron ore and coal terminals at the facility, are valued at up to Rs 800 crore ($110.8 million at current exchange rate), multiple people with knowledge of the matter told The Economic Times.

Sical was acquired by Coffee Day in 2011.

DP World is a global port operator with a portfolio of 78 operating marine and inland terminals supported by over 50 related businesses in over 40 countries across six continents.

Meanwhile, Mint cited regulatory filings accessed through data intelligence platform Paper.vc as saying that Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal has sold around $14 million (about Rs 101.2 crore at current exchange rate) worth of shares in the e-commerce company to New York hedge fund Tiger Global Management. Ever since Walmart took over the homegrown e-commerce firm, this is the third time that Bansal has sold a tranche of his shares.

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