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Hush-hush tales from the world of stock markets, banking, corporate world and corridors of power

MC Insider: Big changes at conglomerate, peace in the family, edtech wars, plane truths and more

Last Updated: April 27, 2022 / 08:54 AM IST

BIG-BANG REVAMP

The share price of the flagship of this diversified conglomerate has risen steadily in the past month or so, outperforming its peers. The relatively new head honcho is keen on making many changes and word on the street is that an elaborate rejig exercise could be on the cards including separation of business verticals, inducting investors in emerging businesses and the works. Keep an eye out on this group folks.

KISS AND MAKE UP, SHALL WE?

KISS AND MAKE UP, SHALL WE?

The peace pipe may soon be smoked between the family members of this chemicals firm and D-Street whispers suggest that all differences are likely to have been sorted out and the settlement terms may involve the potential exit of one of the key stakeholders. Let’s wait for the fine print and see how the markets react.

EDTECH M&A WARS

EDTECH M&A WARS

Word on the deal street is that a test-prep company based out of western India is looking to sell either part or full stake to an edtech player. While at least two edtech players are believed to be evaluating the possibility, we hear the deal is stuck on the valuation aspect and is therefore getting stretched. Location-specific physical test prep has taken a backseat and more so after the pandemic. The target firm is apparently keen on tapping a sectoral investor in the education space, rather than fading into oblivion. One edtech co-founder quipped: “I can confirm the talks and must underline, don’t count us out.” Care to take an educated guess, anyone?

NOT SO FAST!

NOT SO FAST!

India’s aviation regulator DGCA recently suspended 90 pilots of SpiceJet from operating a particular model of aircraft that restarted flying only last year after being grounded for 20 months following two deadly crashes. We hear from DGCA insiders that the regulator’s probe may get the airline and the aircraft maker into trouble for the potential negligence by training officials. The industry is abuzz with chatter that so keen was the aircraft maker and the airline to get the aircraft flying again that they allegedly rushed the training process of pilots. Word of advice for the training officials: “Turbulence ahead, fasten your seatbelts now!”

PICTURE PERFECT

PICTURE PERFECT

The chief minister of a state, elected to power for the second straight term in March, has started taking review meeting of all the departments. Buzz is that a senior cabinet minister in the government has directed his bureaucrats to ensure that there is a picture of the chief minister in each slide of the power point presentation to be displayed in the review meeting. Wait, it doesn’t end here folks. The minister is said to have insisted that the chief minister’s picture in each slide should be from different events. Pray why? The rationale given was that the chief minister will be happy looking at his pictures in the slides. Tsk tsk.

M&A LESSONS ANYONE?

M&A LESSONS ANYONE?

This startup's plans to raise a round led by a fund fell through at the last moment we hear. The fund was all set to lead the round but suddenly asked for changes in terms and valuation just a couple of days before the term sheet was set to expire. The startup, in no mood to get shafted, pulled the round and went back to its current investors. Looks like it is all's well that ends well because it is set to announce its round led by a new investor in the next couple of weeks. But other investors and founders are now apparently wary of engaging with this fund going forward. This fund better watch out because bad word spreads mighty fast in the ecosystem.

HEALTH INSURERS PLAN PURGE

HEALTH INSURERS PLAN PURGE

Some health insurance companies have decided to deal with hospitals that gave them a tough time during the first and second COVID-19 waves with a firm hand. Many health insurance policyholders suffered during those phases as insurance companies and hospitals slugged it over treatment charges. Insurers accused hospitals of overcharging during crisis while the latter cited increased sanitisation and PPE kit costs, particularly in the initial days of the pandemic, to justify higher billing. Worse, instances of cashless facilities being denied also came to light at the peak of the crisis. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) in January last year directed insurers to settle claims as per their cashless agreements with hospitals. However, since India does not have a healthcare regulator, the insurance regulator or insurers have little control over hospitals’ conduct, the IRDAI now plans to seek the central government’s help to prevent a repeat of such incidents. Meanwhile, non-life insurance companies have started ‘blacklisting’ scores of hospitals that refused to adhere to cashless agreements or were seen to be overcharging. One leading private health insurer has already struck a whopping 200 hospitals off its cashless network and more insurance companies are contemplating taking this route to eliminate ‘errant’ hospitals from their preferred providers' list.

KGF-2 is RAKING IN THE MOOLAH

KGF-2 is RAKING IN THE MOOLAH

The second instalment in the multi-lingual KGF (Kolar Gold Fields) franchise is ruling the box office (Rs 900 crore in just 12 days) which probably has led to it fetching a really handsome price for its digital and satellite rights. We are told that the streaming and satellite rights value of KGF: Chapter 2 starring Kannada superstar Yash, Sanjay Dutt and Raveena Tandon is the highest so far, surpassing RRR which was sold to ZEE5 for Rs 330 crore. KGF Chapter 2 will soon start streaming on Amazon Prime Video. Meanwhile, star-led films like Akshay Kumar's Laxxmi Bomb and Ajay Devgn's Bhuj have been bought by over the top (OTT) platforms for Rs 125-110 crore.

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