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L Capital, Temasek Holdings and International Finance Corporation are in the final reckoning to buy minority shares in Aditya Birla Group's retail holding company, people familiar with the matter said. Billionaire Kumar Mangalam Birla is in the midst of combining his group entities Madura Lifestyle & Fashion, Pantaloons department stores and More supermarkets into a new listed company valued at $2.3 billion in enterprise valuation.

Birla could raise as much as $400 million from two or three investors, though a final quantum has not been decided yet. Standard Chartered Bank is advising Aditya Birla Group on the deal. TOI, on September 4, had reported that Birla had shortlisted L Capital and others for a stake dilution. Reuters on Tuesday reported that three above mentioned investors were in advanced talks. A spokesperson for Aditya Birla declined comment.

L Capital, a private equity arm of luxury conglomerate Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy, and Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings have completed due diligence, and awaiting final discussions with Birla management. A deal could be struck in the next 4-6 weeks, but a final closure could take six months as the Birla group companies will have to complete a scheme of merger.

While Madura Lifestyle is part of the listed Aditya Birla Nuvo, Pantaloons is a separately listed company and More supermarkets are parked under the privately-held Aditya Birla Retail. The restructuring scheme envisages Madura to be subsidiarized with public shareholding while Pantaloons and More to be merged with the demerged Madura subsequently.

Biggies including General Atlantic Partners and Standard Chartered Private Equity too had considered the deal but dropped out. The race has narrowed down to these three investors and Birla may go for all the three or at least two, the people quoted earlier said. IFC may come in with small shares or mezzanine investment. The arrangement, if struck, would see the L Capital and Temasek occupying one board seat each.


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