Fairfax raises stake in IIFL Holdings to 32.72% for about $200M

Canadian investment giant Fairfax India Holdings Corp (FIH) has increased its stake in Carlyle-backed financial services company IIFL Holdings Ltd (formerly India Infoline) to 30.72 per cent through an open offer, according to a stock market disclosure.

Fairfax has acquired additional 68.7 million equity shares or 21.85 per cent stake in IIFL Holdings at Rs 195 a share, aggregating Rs 1,341.37 crore (approximately $200 million).

Parent Fairfax Financial already owns close to 9 per cent in addition to an economic interest of another 5.24 per cent stake through derivative instruments. It also has a board seat in IIFL.

Fairfax India Holdings Corp had announced in July that it will buy an additional up to 26 per cent stake in IIFL through an open offer.

IIFL Holdings is led by executive chairman Nirmal Jain. Promoters held 29.77 per cent of the firm as of March 31, 2015.

IIFL operates businesses in non-banking finance, housing finance, wealth management, retail broking, institutional equities, investment banking and insurance distribution.

PE firm Carlyle is an existing institutional investor in IIFL and currently holds 9.27 per cent. Ashish Dhawan, founder of PE firm ChrysCapital, who is currently involved in philanthropic activities, is also a private investor in IIFL.

For Fairfax, this is second big move in India in recent times and the first under its newly created India-focused investment unit.

Fairfax as a group had acquired majority stake in Thomas Cook India three years ago and has been using it as a platform to buy other business services firms. Fairfax also holds 26 per cent stake in ICICI Lombard General Insurance Co.

In February this year, Fairfax India had raised $1.061 billion to invest in India.

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