After Binani Cement, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala in race with Azim Premji to buy Star Health

By: | Published: January 18, 2018 9:42 AM

After teaming with billionaire investor Radhakrishnan Damani to bid for Binani Cement, investment maestro Rakesh Jhunjhunwala has reportedly bid for Star Health & Allied Insurance, the first stand-alone health insurance company.

Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-led Rare Enterprises is in contention with several other financial investors for buying Star Health & Allied Insurance. (Image: Reuters)

After teaming with billionaire investor Radhakrishnan Damani to bid for Binani Cement, investment maestro Rakesh Jhunjhunwala has reportedly bid for Star Health & Allied Insurance, the first stand-alone health insurance company. According to a report in the Times of India, Star Health & Allied Insurance carries a price tag of $1 billion.

According to the report, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-led Rare Enterprises is in contention with several other financial investors. The newspaper reported that bids were received from Kedaara Capital, WestBridge, Temasek and Prudential and strategic investors including ICICI Lombard and HDFC General Insurance.

Earlier this week, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala had reportedly teamed up with billionaire investor Radhakrishnan Damani to bid for Binani Cement, a company which is facing bankruptcy proceedings from its lenders. “The partnership between Jhunjhunwala and Damani is a big surprise,” the Economic Times had reported a source as saying. Interestingly,  in a recent article interview featured in Firstpost, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala had revealed that the D-mart founder Radhakrishnan Damani has made a lasting impact in his life.

The ace investor seems to be on a buying spree of late, as in December-17, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala picked up equity stake worth Rs 180 crore in Mumbai-based gaming startup Nazara. Frequently referred to as India’s Warren Buffett, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala had earlier stayed away from the e-commerce and digital space in India, citing concerns over valuations, business models and a lack of cash flows.

“Most of the big companies globally have been built from the profit of cash flow and not investors’ money. I would like to see online companies with a profitable model and there isn’t any. I will believe in it when they sell at an economic price,” Rakesh Jhunjhunwala had pointed out in Retail Leadership Summit last year.

Further, the ace investor had quipped, “I will consider buying Flipkart’s stake if it is valued at $100 million.” Interestingly, in its latest quarterly report, Valic Co has marked down Flipkart’s valuation slightly to about $7.9 billion—which is way below the $11.6 billion valuation at which Flipkart raised funds earlier this year.

“I am always on the lookout for promising companies which are leaders in high growth verticals. Nazara is a leading company in the mobile games business. Nazara has a consistent track record of delivering profits, cash flows, along with efficient use of capital and high ROE. I see a growth potential in the company,” Rakesh Jhunjhunwala had said said.

“We are delighted to have Rakesh Jhunjhunwala as an investor in Nazara and it is a great validation of value augmentation delivered by Nazara for its existing shareholders,” Nitish Mittersain, Managing Director of Nazara Technologies had said. The development is also seen to give a heads up to Nazara’s upcoming IPO scheduled for the middle of  this year.

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