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To Avoid Flipkart’s Fate, Ola Founders get CCI Approval to Increase Stake in Parent Firm

Competition watchdog, Competition Commission of India (CCI), has announced on Twitter that it has approved a proposal from the founders of ride-share company Ola to enhance their stake in the parent company, ANI Technologies.

“CCI approves acquisition of 6.72% shares of ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd. by Lazarus Holdings Pte. Ltd,” the tweet reads.

Lazarus Holdings is a Singapore-incorporated subsidy set up by ANI Technologies to be used as an investment holding company.

This comes within a month after Ola had raised $50 million from two new investors, Hong Kong-based Sailing Capital and the China-Eurasian Economic Cooperation Fund (CEECF), at valuation of $4.2 billion.

Last month, Ola founders – Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati, along with MacRitchie Investments sought CCI’s approval to increase their stake in the cab aggregator by buying shares from some of the existing shareholders. By this, Ola founders are trying to avoid the fate of FLipkart’s Bansals and the Snapdeal founders, who are also angel investors in Ola.

MacRitchie Investments is an indirectly wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore-based investment company Temasek Holdings. According to reports, Temasek has invested over $200 million in the Bengaluru-based company.

Ola, which competes against US-based Uber counts among its investors names like Softbank, Tiger Global, Tencent and Sequoia Capital, among others mergers and acquisitions beyond a certain threshold require the approval of the CCI.

According to media reports, a few angel investors such as Rehan Yar Khan and venture capital (VC) investors, Accel India, Bessemer Venture Partners, Helion Venture Partners, and TaxiForSure founders Aprameya Radhakrishna and Raghunandan G and some Ola employees will be selling some of their shares to the founders. A few of the VCs will be making a partial exit from the company.

Last year, Ola amended its AoA (article of association) to strengthen founders Bhavish and Ankit’s rights in the company, which gave them the power to veto any further stake buy from SoftBank, which is the company’s largest shareholder.

In May this year, it was also reported that ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd is planning to set up a holding company that will own different business units, including its core cab business, food delivery app Foodpanda and the nascent businesses of electric vehicles (EV) and the international unit. This is very similar to what Google had done by incorporating Alphabet Inc as its parent company.

Ola, which also counts VCs such as Matrix Partners India and Tencent as other major shareholders in the company, recently raised $50 million led by Hong Kong-based Sailing Capital and the China-Eurasian Economic Cooperation Fund (CEECF). This fundraising round takes Ola’s valuation to $3.7-4.3 billion. With this funding, both investors now hold roughly 1.17% in Ola’s parent ANI Technologies.

Last week, IndianWeb2 also reported that Sachin Bansal, the co-founder & former CEO of Flipkart, is in talks to invest $100 million in Ola. This will be from the $1 billion Sachin made from selling his entire 5.5% stake to Walmart and is said to have pocketed $1 billion from the deal.

Source: IndianWeb2

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