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No longer interested in Jet Airways, says Anil Agarwal

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Mumbai: A day after publicly announcing his interest in the grounded Jet Airways, mining baron Anil Agarwal on Monday said he was no longer interested in pursuing the same.

On Sunday, Mr Agarwal’s investment company, Volcan Investment, had submitted an expression of interest in buying Jet Airways.

But on Monday, in a statement, Mr Agarwal said, “the EoI for Jet Airways by Volcan was exploratory in nature. On further evaluation and considering other priorities, we intend to not pursue this further.”

It had submitted an EoI for Jet as it wanted to understand the business scenario for the company and the industry, the statement added.

The move leaves just two unnamed financial investors in the fray for the limited assets of the airline which stopped flying mid-April and is currently facing insolvency proceedings.

In an interaction with ET, Agarwal said that while he has stepped back, he wants to encourage other airlines and investors to come forward to bid for Jet. He said his initial interest was driven a lot by his fondness for the airline.

“Jet Airways was the pioneer to open skies in India after Air India, created a world-class airline with the finest team and connected numerous global and domestic destinations. India is among the largest and fastest-growing aviation markets in the world,” he said.

 

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Zomato acquires UberEats India for nearly Rs 2,500 crore

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New Delhi: Zomato on Tuesday announced that it has acquired Uber’s Food Delivery Business in India in an all-stock deal and Uber will have 9.99 per cent stake in the Deepinder Goyal-led food delivery platform.

According to sources close to the deal, it is in the range of over $350 million or nearly Rs 2,500 crore.

Uber Eats in India will discontinue operations and direct restaurants, delivery partners, and users of the Uber Eats apps to the Zomato platform, effective from Tuesday.

“We are proud to have pioneered restaurant discovery and to have created a leading food delivery business across more than 500 cities in India. This acquisition significantly strengthens our position in the category,” said Goyal, Founder and CEO, Zomato.

According to company sources, for the first three quarters of 2019, “our Uber Eats business comprised 3 per cent of our global Eats gross bookings, but was more than 25 per cent of our global Eats Segment Adjusted EBITDA losses”.

Uber started its food delivery service in India around mid-2017, but has not been able to scale up in the face of big players like Zomato and Swiggy.

It currently has nearly 26,000 restuarants listed on its platform from over 40 cities.

The market is piping hot as according to a recent study by business consultancy firm Market Research Future, the online food ordering market in India is likely to grow at over 16 per cent annually to touch $17.02 billion by 2023.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said that the Uber Eats team in India has achieved an incredible amount over the last two years.

“India remains an exceptionally important market to Uber and we will continue to invest in growing our local Rides business, which is already the clear category leader,” said Khosrowshahi.

“We have been very impressed by Zomato’s ability to grow rapidly in a capital-efficient manner and we wish them continued success,” he added.

On January 10, Zomato had announced that it has secured $150 million in fresh funding from Ant Financial, a subsidiary of China-based giant Alibaba.

The latest round of funding in Zomato, which currently value the company at $3 billion, is part of $600 million funding round announced by Zomato CEO Goyal at a Delhi event last December.

The deal comes in the wake of merger talks between Zomato and Swiggy, whoch both the companies have denied to date.

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