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Bain plans India team for stressed asset deals; Visa eyes stake in BillDesk
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US-based alternative investment firm Bain Capital is planning to set up a dedicated team in India to focus on stressed asset transactions, The Economic Times reported, citing two people aware of the development.

The India team will work under Hong Kong-based Barnaby Lyons, managing director and head of Asia at Bain Capital Credit, the report added.

Bain Capital invests in stressed assets through its joint venture, India Resurgent Fund, formed with Piramal Enterprises in 2016. The fund is raising a $1 billion corpus and has roped in International Finance Corporation as a limited partner.

Bain Capital is also looking to make additional investments in India from Bain Capital Special Situations Asia LP, an Asia-focussed credit fund, according to the report. The fund had hit first close at $557 million in September 2017. Barnaby Lyons is the portfolio manager for this fund.

Apart from Bain, other foreign funds that have formed local partnerships to invest in stressed assets include Canadian pension fund Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec (CDPQ) and alternative investment firms Apollo Global Management, Oaktree Capital, Brookfield Asset Management and J.C. Flowers & Co.

Meanwhile, global payments technology company Visa Inc. is in advanced stages of discussion to invest over $250 million in Mumbai-based IndiaIdeas.com Ltd, which operates payments gateway BillDesk, The Times of India reported, citing three people aware of the development.

The planned fundraise, a mix of primary and secondary transactions, may value the company at around $1.5-2 billion, the report added.

The report cited a person in knowledge of the development as saying that Visa is in discussions with BillDesk over valuation of the company.

In March, the Mint daily had reported that BillDesk held held separate discussions with PayU, American Express and PayPal for a potential sale but the talks fell through over valuation mismatch.

BillDesk counts private equity firms General Atlantic and TA Associates as well as Clearstone Venture Partners and Singapore state investment firm Temasek among its investors.

The company was founded in 2000 by former Arthur Anderson employees MN Srinivasu, Ajay Kaushal and Karthik Ganapathy. It provides electronic transaction processing services to banks, e-commerce companies, telecom operators, and state utilities. BillDesk competes with billing aggregators such as Citrus Payment Solutions, CCAvenue, Oxigen and RazorPay.

In another report, The Economic Times said that mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) and private-sector lender Kotak Mahindra Bank are in separate discussions to acquire a controlling stake in PNB Housing Finance Ltd.

State-run Punjab National Bank and US-based private equity firm Carlyle Group are looking to sell their stakes in PNB Housing Finance. They both hold a 33% stake each in the mortgage lender. The market capitalisation of PNB Housing Finance is around Rs 19,800 crore.

Last month, Carlyle sold a 4.8% stake in the mortgage lender for around Rs 1,024 crore ($153 million). When PNB Housing went public in late 2016, Carlyle’s stake dropped to around 37%.

Private equity firm General Atlantic holds around 9.5% stake in the mortgage lender.

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