India In-Focus — Tullow Oil in talks with Indian groups; Yes Bank to raise $1.1bn; Ola and Uber deny report of merger talks

RIYADH: Executives from Tullow Oil held talks with India’s ONGC Videsh Ltd. in Nairobi this week as the London-based firm seeks a strategic investor for its onshore oil project in Kenya, the company said on Saturday.

A senior official at Kenya’s ministry of petroleum and mines tweeted earlier this week that ministry officials had met the Indian High Commissioner to Kenya along with representatives of ONGC Videsh, the overseas investment arm of Oil and Natural Gas Corp, and Indian Oil Corporation Limited.

“The meeting was positive and the parties agreed to hold further discussions in the coming weeks,” Africa-focused Tullow said in a tweet about the meeting, adding that the talks had been hosted by the ministry of petroleum and mines.

Africa-focused Tullow said earlier in July it was confident it could make substantial progress to find an investor for its onshore oil project in the East African country in the second half of the year. 

India’s Yes Bank to raise $1.1bn via stake sale 

India’s Yes Bank said on Friday it will sell up to 10 percent stake to US private equity firms Carlyle Group Inc. and Advent International for $1.1 billion.

Yes Bank will raise the funds through a combination of about $640 million in shares and about $475 million in share warrants, the private lender said in a statement.

Yes Bank will offer 3.69 billion shares to affiliates of Carlyle Group and Advent for 13.78 Indian rupees ($0.1737) apiece.

The company will also issue 2.56 billion share warrants at a price of 14.82 Indian rupees per warrant to both investors.

Earlier this month, Yes Bank said it would seek to raise about $1 billion in this financial year as it exits a reconstruction plan after two years.

The company also selected an asset reconstruction firm belonging to private equity firm JC Flowers as the base bidder for the sale of bad loans worth 480 billion Indian rupees. 

Ola and Uber deny report of merger talks

Uber Technologies Inc. and its Indian rival Ola on Friday denied a media report that the ride-hailing firms were in talks for a merger.

An Economic Times report said that Ola CEO Bhavish Aggarwal had met top Uber executives in San Francisco, US, citing two sources.

“That report is inaccurate. We are not, nor have we been, in merger talks with Ola,” Uber said in a statement.

Ola’s Aggarwal tweeted, “Absolute rubbish. We’re very profitable and growing well. If some other companies want to exit their business from India they are welcome to! We will never merge.”

(With input from Reuters)