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Airtel DTH Eyes Merger with Dish TV, Shapoorji Pallonji Group Bags Smart City Projects Worth INR2,500cr, Deutsche Bank Confirms Merger Talks with Commerzbank et al.

Professor of Financial Economics and Part-time Value Investor, Transfin.
Mar 18, 2019 2:32 PM 5 min read

Embassy Office Park REIT IPO kicks off today. Deutsche Bank to set bad loans unit in India. Airtel DTH eyes merger with Dish TV. Shapoorji Pallonji Group to file for an IPO for its solar engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) business. Bags Smart City projects worth INR2,500cr. Deutsche Bank confirms merger talks with Commerzbank.


Moving on to the top Business stories of the week. 



Shapoorji Pallonji Group to file for an IPO for its solar engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) business. Bags Smart City projects worth INR2500cr.

Selling Some: Shapoorji Pallonji Group is set to raise INR4,000cr through an IPO for its solar engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) business.

Sterling and Wilson, which houses the group’s solar EPC business, is expected to file the documents for the IPO by early next month. 

For Good Cause: The IPO will be a pure offer for sale of shares worth around INR4,000cr by the promoter group, which plans to use the proceeds to close debts.

The group expects the solar business to fetch a valuation of as much as $3.5bn.

Bag It: Shapoorji Pallonji group has acquired three smart city projects in Varanasi, Bengaluru and Eluru (Andhra Pradesh) worth more than INR2,500cr


Big Bro: As part of the projects, the group is working on multifarious concepts, including setting up a smart city surveillance system, smart grid & energy management as well as solid & water waste management.

Among the projects, Varanasi is worth INR150cr, Bengaluru is worth INR1,000cr and Eluru is worth INR1,400cr.



Mindtree founders seek help in fending off L&T threat. Airtel DTH eyes merger with Dish TV. Deutsche Bank confirms merger talks with Commerzbank.

First of a Kind: Larsen & Toubro (L&T) is set to launch a hostile bid to acquire IT service company Mindtree.

Help!!: Mindtree founders are reaching out to top clients and engaging with key institutional investors to fend off attempts by L&T from making the hostile takeover bid.

Coffee Kills: The management also announced the possibility of a share repurchase amid reports of L&T’s board giving the green signal to buy Café Coffee Day founder V G Siddhartha’s stake in Mindtree.

Siddhartha, who is the single-largest investor in Mindtree, is in advanced stages of discussion with a host of entities, including private equity players and L&T to offload his stake in the IT firm. L&T is looking to buy Siddhartha's nearly 21 % stake for over INR3,000cr, at INR981 a share, which will make it Mindtree's largest shareholder.


Let’s Talk: Bharti Airtel in talks to merge its DTH television business housed under Airtel Digital TV with Essel Group's Dish TV.

The talks are still at an exploratory stage, with main focus on consolidating operations and fighting Jio Infocomm, which recently took control of two of the largest cable operators in India - Hathway Cable & Da


Big Boy: If the merger happens, the combined entity will be the world’s largest TV distribution company with over 38 million subscribers and 61% DTH market share in India. 

Did You Know?: Airtel had previously tried to sell its DTH business to Tata Sky, but the two parties couldn’t reach an agreement. Later, in December 2017, Airtel sold 20% stake in Bharti Telemedia, the holding company of Airtel Digital TV, to private equity firm Warburg Pincus for INR2,258cr, valuing the DTH business at INR11,300cr. 

Zusammenschluss: Deutsche Bank, Germany's largest lender, has confirmed that it is in merger talks with rival Commerzbank. 

The merger would help consolidate Germany's crowded retail lending market by creating a single bank with combined assets of €1.9tr and roughly 150,000 employees.



Embassy Office Park REIT IPO kicks off today. Deutsche Bank to set bad loans unit in India.

New Launch: Bengaluru-based Embassy Property today kicked off its REITs IPO in order to raise INR4,750cr.

To invest in the IPO, investors will be required to bid for a minimum of 800 units in the price band of INR299-INR300, which amounts to INR2.39L-INR2.40L. 

Should you Invest?: Know here.

Earlier: The REIT, backed by Blackstone and Embassy, has already witnessed subscription for more than 55% of its size by strategic investors even before its opening.

New Frontiers: Blackstone-Embassy REIT may prove to be a game changer for India's real estate sector. 

Read more on it here.

Moving In: Deutsche Bank is considering setting up an Asset Reconstruction Company (ARC) in India to acquire bad loans.

In Good Company: With this move, Deutsche Bank will join foreign investors including Lone Star Funds, KKR and BlackStone that have either set up ARCs in India or bought existing ones.

Forced Hand: Overseas investors cannot directly buy distressed debt from lenders in India, but can purchase them through tie-ups with local units. This condition is likely to have prompted Deutsche Bank to set-up its own Indian unit.



Google Pay looks to rope in Kirana stores. Xiaomi bets big on India.

New Targets: After attaining considerable success in P2P and bill payments, Google Pay is targeting the customers of smaller offline retailers, or kirana stores.

Google is now pilot testing a service which will allow users to transfer money using Unified Payments Interface (UPI) even while purchasing offline.

New Tech: Upon implementation the service will bring the convenience of a card in a smartphone. In order to complete the transaction, users will have to share their mobile number at the billing counter, following which they will receive a ‘collect’ request on their Google Pay app. The customers will then have to insert their UPI PIN on the app and complete the payment.

Betting Big: Xiaomi has invested INR3,500cr in its Indian entity to further strengthen presence in India.

Xiaomi India has received two infusions this year:

  • January 2019: INR1,500cr from Xiaomi Singapore for 3,786 Equity shares
  • March 2019: INR 2,000cr from Xiaomi Singapore for 6,959 Equity shares


New Avenues: Xiaomi would utilize the funds to enter the white goods sector, such as water purifiers, washing machines, laptops and refrigerators as well as to expand its company-owned Mi Home retail stores to sustain the leadership in the Indian smartphone market.



NCLAT gives conditional approval for Arcelor Mittal bid. Ambani running out of time.

Close Watch: NCLAT has given a conditional approval to the INR42,000cr resolution plan of ArcelorMittal for debt-ridden Essar Steel.

Not Fair: Essar Steel directors had earlier challenged the Ahmedabad-bench of NCLT’s nod to ArcelorMittal's bid for the debt-laden company on the plea that their offer of INR54,389cr was superior as it clears 100% outstanding of both financial and operational creditors.

Lender Standard Chartered too had moved the NCLAT against the plan as its counsel contended that the bank was being given only 1.7% of its total dues from Essar Steel. While other financial creditors, were getting over 85% of their dues.

Real Sad: If the ArcelorMittal plan is implemented, Standard Chartered will only get INR60cr against its claims of INR3,187cr from Essar Steel. Operational creditors, under the plan, would get just INR214cr against the outstanding of INR4,976cr.

How The Mighty Have Fallen: Anil Ambani has one more day to piece together $80mn to settle long-pending dues with vendors. If the payment isn’t resolved by Tuesday, Ambani risks a three-month jail term.

Fair Warning: The threat of a prison term to Ambani comes as a rare warning to some of India’s richest borrowers whose firms have turned defaulters. 

Read more on the matter here.


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