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KKR, Blackstone eye $3 bn Shriram Group deal; BNP Paribas may exit Geojit Financial
Photo Credit: Bhakti Nair/VCCircle

Global alternative investment firms KKR and Blackstone have held initial discussions to pick up a stake in financial services conglomerate Shriram Group, a media report said.

The deal is likely to be in the range of $3 billion, Bloomberg reported, citing people aware of the development.

The investors are looking to hold a stake in a single listed company. This would require a three-way merger between group holding company Shriram Capital and listed entities Shriram Transport Finance Co. and Shriram City Union Finance, according to the report.

Billionaire Ajay Piramal-led Piramal Enterprises Ltd, South Africa-based Sanlam Life Insurance and private equity firm TPG have a stake in Shriram Capital.

Separately, France's largest listed bank, BNP Paribas, is looking to sell its entire 33% stake in Geojit Financial Services Ltd, The Times of India reported, citing people aware of the development.

Barclays is advising BNP Paribas on the share sale, the report said.

BNP Paribas is the largest shareholder in Geojit. As on 30 June, prominent stock market investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala held a 7.58% stake in the company.

The current market capitalisation of Geojit is around Rs 1,250 crore.

Meanwhile, sovereign wealth fund Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) is unlikely to participate in the Rs 4,500 crore rights issue of the cash-strapped Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd (IL&FS), The Economic Times reported, citing three people aware of the development.

ADIA's stake in the company will fall if it doesn't participate in the rights issue, the report said. As on 31 March, ADIA held a 12.56% stake in the company.

Other shareholders include Life Insurance Corporation or LIC (25.34%), Japanese financial services group Orix Corp. (23.54%), home loan firm HDFC (9.02%), public sector lenders Central Bank of India (7.67%) and State Bank of India (6.42%), and IL&FS Employees Welfare Trust (12%).

In another development, the Aditya Birla Group is in preliminary discussions with IL&FS to acquire IL&FS Education and Technology Services, Mint reported, citing two people aware of the development.

IL&FS Education establishes and operates computer labs in government schools under the build-operate-transfer format. As on 31 March, it operated in more than 16,000 schools in 11 states, according to the IL&FS annual report. It is present in 17 countries across Asia and Africa.

IL&FS is also in talks to sell many of its assets to pare debt, which is around Rs 90,000 crore. On Thursday, The Economic Times reported that Italy’s Benetton family-controlled infrastructure group Atlantia is in advanced talks with IL&FS to buy some of its road projects for about $1.2 billion.

Last week, Mint had reported that IL&FS was looking to sell a majority stake in its IL&FS Financial Services to pare debt. Also last week, VCCircle reported that Blackstone was in talks with IL&FS to buy IL&FS Financial Centre at the Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai.

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