Gulf-backed SoftBank strikes deal with India-based logistics provider

SoftBank's vision fund plans to make investments in Gurgaon-based Delhivery
Gulf-backed SoftBank strikes deal with India-based logistics provider
By James Mathew
Mon 21 Jan 2019 02:00 PM

Japanese investment major SoftBank has struck a deal with the Indian logistics providing start-up Delhivery to acquire a significant minority stake in the latter.

SoftBank proposes to make investments in the Gurgaon-based Delhivery through its Vision Fund.

SoftBank’s Vision Fund has several high net worth individual and family office investors from GCC, especially from Saudi Arabia and UAE, as participants.

In a filing with Competition Commission of India (CCI) last week, SoftBank has proposed acquiring 37.87 percent stake in Delhivery Private Limited, the holding company of Delhivery, according to business intelligence firm Paper.vc.

The SoftBank-floated Vision Fund will fund the stake acquisition in the third party logistics provider Delhivery through its Cayman Island-registered firm SVF Doorbell.

Though SoftBank has not disclosed the financial details of its stake acquisition in Delhivery in its filing with CCI, the Japanese tech investment major was reportedly planning to make an investment in the region of $300 to $450 million in Delhivery for the stake acquisition.

Delhivery, India’s largest e-commerce-centric third party logistics provider, provides transportation, warehousing and freight services to a large number of enterprises selling merchandise online and offline across sectors.

The logistics start-up was founded in 2011 by Sahil Barua, Mohit Tandon, Suraj Saharan, Kapil Bharti and Bhavesh Manglani.

The stake acquisition deal between SoftBank Vision Fund and Delhivery envisages a two-stage process for stake acquisition by SVF Doorbell (SVFD), the holding company set up by SoftBank Vision Fund, in Delhivery.

In the first stage, SVFD is to acquire 22.44 percent stake in Delhivery through issue of fresh shares.

On completion of this, SVFD can potentially enhance its stake by another 15.43 percent in the logistics start-up major at a price mutually agreed between the two entities, according to the company’s filing with CCI.

Sources said the second stage stake acquisition could be done through secondary market transactions from some of the existing investors in Delhivery.

A message sent to Delhivery for comments on the SoftBank investments in the company did not elicit any response.

Among the existing investors in Delhivery include Carlyle Group, China’s Fosun International and New York-based investment firm Tiger Global.

In a separate filing with CCI, existing investor Carlyle group has also sought the Indian competition watchdog’s approval to reinvest in Delhivery through the preference shares route.

Carlyle has proposed to make its fresh investment in Delhivery through its Mauritius-based special purpose vehicle CA Swift Investments.

Sources said Carlyle’s move could be to protect its existing level of stake, at about 11 percent, in the Indian logistics start-up.

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