Equitas Finance raises $16M from Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund via NCDs

Equitas Finance Pvt Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chennai-based microfinance and micro-housing finance company Equitas Holdings Pvt Ltd, has raised Rs 100 crore ($16.3 million) from Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund through NCDs, according to a press release.

This is one of the biggest NCD placements by the company since its inception in 2011 and Franklin Templeton subscribed on a private placement basis. It did not provide more details on the price and number of NCDs it issued.

“Equitas has developed expertise in lending to the largely excluded segments such as used commercial vehicles being bought by driver turning owner and also micro SMEs for the very small and largely informal entrepreneurs. The trust & support reposed by the marquee institutional investors like Franklin Templeton would go a long way in achieving our growth plans," said S Bhaskar, group CFO, Equitas.

IFMR Capital acted as the sole arranger to Equitas Finance for this issue.

Equitas Finance, an NBFC arm of Equitas Group, provides finance for used commercial vehicles as well as loan against property and to micro and small enterprises.

Its net-worth is Rs 616 crore with capital adequacy of 38.74 per cent and gross loan portfolio is Rs 1,538 crore spread across 134 branches in 11 states and a union territory as of January 31, 2015.

Parent firm Equitas Holdings, founded in 2007 by PN Vasudevan, offers micro credit to people who are otherwise unable to access finance from the mainstream banking channels. The firm provides loan to poor rural, urban and deprived women for income generating activities like trading, animal husbandry, agricultural production and transportation.

The firm recently raised Rs 325 crore from a consortium of six investors led by DEG and impact investment firm Creations.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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