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August 18, 2022

Indian government in talks with buyout funds for IDBI Bank stake sale

The Government of India is gauging investor interest in buying a stake in bailed-out lender IDBI Bank, the Economic Times has reported citing unnamed industry sources.

Investment banking and private equity executives told the publication that the authorities are in talks with international buyout funds and financial institutions such as the Carlyle Group, TPG Capital and Fairfax Holdings.

The Government of India and Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) collectively hold more than 94% stake in the bank.

The potential investors were tapped by the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) during roadshows held at several global banking centres, industry sources who attended such events told the news outlet.

The roadshows were held in the US, Middle East, and Europe.

“The talks are in the early stages and the government has not yet fixed any deadline for the stake sale,” said one of the sources. “However, buyout funds and some domestic-related strategic investors have been excluded.”

KPMG is helping IDBI Bank with the divestment, which has reportedly secured approval from the Reserve Bank of India.

The global private equity investors are exploring the possibility of joining hands with local investors for bidding entities. They could also ally with other investors to form a consortium.

The formal bidding will start after investors float their expression of interest (EoI). The process could start in 2022 depending on market conditions.

In June this year, media reports said that Fairfax, which is controlled by Indian-origin Canadian billionaire Prem Wasta, expressed interest in buying the government’s 45.48% stake in IDBI Bank.

Following the stake sale, the lender could also be allowed to merge with other financial entities.  

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