Grapevine: BillDesk up for sale again; Edelweiss sells sticky loans to SSG, Farallon
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IndiaIdeas.com Ltd has revived efforts to sell the entire business of its BillDesk payments gateway unit and is in talks with at least eight investment banks, including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley, to help manage the sale, two people with knowledge of the plans told Mint.

BillDesk was previously put up for sale in 2018 back but the talks hit a dead end over valuation mismatch.

Last year, BillDesk raised over Rs 600 crore in a round of funding led by Visa Inc. and joined by existing investor Temasek, valuing the payments gateway unit at close to $1.8 billion.

Meanwhile, ECL Finance, the non-banking financial company (NBFC) of the Edelweiss Group, has sold about Rs 4,000 crore ($535 million) of sticky corporate loans to US-based Farallon Capital and Singapore-based SSG Capital at 25% haircuts, two people with knowledge of the matter told The Economic Times.

“Those are sticky loans given mostly to builders with the NBFC not receiving regular repayments,” one of the persons said.

“The market dislocation of nearly two years, coupled with Covid-19, has accelerated our stated strategy to bring down the corporate book, transfer assets to a fund format and remain capital-light,” said an Edelweiss spokesperson.

ECL Finance is left with a corporate loan book of about Rs 7,000 crore after the asset sale. “The company aims to exit the entire wholesale book, which is a major drag on their performance,” said a senior executive aware of Edelweiss transactions.

In another development, Indiabulls Housing Finance Ltd has raised Rs 2,200 crore ($295 million) from Oaktree Capital by pledging a part of its real estate loans, two people aware of the transaction told Hindustan Times.

The persons stated that Oaktree, as part of the deal, will buy non-convertible debentures (NCDs) to be sold by Indiabulls Housing.

The NCDs will be guaranteed by an underlying real estate portfolio valued at close to Rs 4,500 crore ($600 million), comprising loan exposures to developers such as Wadhwa Group and Sheth Developers.

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