Ola founders–Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati along with MacRitchie, who sought CCI approval to increase their stake in parent entity ANI Technologies, has got the final nod from the competition watchdog.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has announced that it has approved the acquisition of 6.72 per cent shares of ANI Technologies by Lazarus.
The proposed indirect acquisition of the share capital of ANI by Bhati, Aggarwal, and MacRitchie will be through Lazarus from certain existing shareholders of ANI.
For uninitiated, Singapore-incorporated Lazarus Holdings is a special purpose vehicle to be used as an investment holding company while MacRitchie Investments is an indirectly wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore-based investment company Temasek Holdings.
Temasek, which has invested over $200 million in Ola, made one of the largest secondary share purchases in the company in August. In that deal, investors, as well as employees of the Bengaluru-based company, liquidated shares worth $255 million.
Of late, Ola was in talks with Naspers to raise fresh funds at $8 billion valuation, which is almost double its current valuation $4.3 billion.
Apart from the institutional investors, Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal has also expressed his interest in the ride-hailing company. According to media reports, Bansal may infuse around $100 million in Ola, which would be one of the largest investments in an Indian internet company in a personal capacity.
Separately, Central GST commissionerate Ludhiana’s anti-evasion wing has accused ANI Technologies of underpaying GST of Rs 2.31 crore from June 2017 to March 2018 for its operations in Punjab. However, ANI has denied the allegations and called it baseless.
The commissionerate has forwarded its report to the directorate general of GST intelligence (DGGI), Mangalore. It has requested DGGI to probe the tax avoidance record in all 23 states where Ola operates.