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Carlyle eyes stake in SBI Life; Banks, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala bid for IL&FS Securities
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US-based private equity giant The Carlyle Group is ahead in the race to pick up a stake in SBI Life Insurance Company Ltd from BNP Paribas Cardif, The Economic Times reported.

Citing people aware of the development, the report said PE firms KKR and Blackstone and Singapore state investment firm Temasek have also shown interest to buy a stake in the insurer.

BNP Paribas Cardif is the life, property and casualty insurance subsidiary of French bank BNP Paribas. It holds a 22% stake in SBI Life. It may sell a part or full stake to one or more investors, according to the report.

State Bank of India holds a 62.1% stake in SBI Life. The insurer made its stock market debut in October 2017. It is valued around Rs 58,500 crore.

In another report, The Economic Times said that HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and ace stock market investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala’s Rare Enterprises are among a dozen bidders for IL&FS Securities Services Ltd.

Citing a person aware of the development, the report said the sale of IL&FS Securities could fetch Rs 400 crore.

An earlier deal to sell IL&FS Securities to private-sector lender IndusInd Bank was scrapped in November. The new IL&FS board had put the securities business on the block last month as part of a plan to sell assets to raise funds for reducing its Rs 91,000-crore debt. 

IL&FS Securities provides professional clearing services in the derivatives segment, custodian designated depository participant services, domestic fund accounting and other financial services. The company is 81.24% owned by IL&FS group, 9% by IL&FS Employee Welfare Trust, 4.75% by Japan’s Orix Corporation and 5% by Croupier Prive Mauritius.

Meanwhile, Carlyle is also in early discussions with state-run Punjab National Bank to increase its stake in mortgage lender PNB Housing Finance Ltd, Bloomberg reported, citing people aware of the development.

Punjab National Bank holds a 32.79% stake in the mortgage lender while Carlyle owns 32.36%. The market capitalisation of PNB Housing Finance is around Rs 15,900 crore.

In July, the bank and Carlyle had initiated a joint process to sell a minimum 51% stake in PNB Housing. Last month, Carlyle withdrew from the joint sale process. The bank said it will independently pursue with the sale of its stake in part or full to strategic or financial investors.

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