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Grapevine: Blackstone, Indian asset managers look to buy L&T Mutual Fund
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Private equity giant Blackstone and some Indian asset managers are in the fray to acquire a majority stake in engineering-to-finance conglomerate Larsen & Toubro Ltd’s mutual fund business, a media report said.

The Indian companies include IIFL Wealth, which is backed by PE firm General Atlantic, as well as HDFC Asset Management Company and veteran investment banker Hemendra Kothari-led DSP Group, Moneycontrol reported.

Citing sources it didn’t identify, the report said L&T Finance Ltd had put the mutual fund business on the block previously and has now revived the plan as part of efforts to sell non-core assets.

The report said the initial bids could be in the range of Rs 4,000 crore to Rs 5,000 crore.

It also said that Wipro founding chairman Azim Premji’s investment arm, PremjiInvest, and India-focused private equity firm ChrysCapital are also potential suitors for L&T Mutual Fund.

L&T had entered the mutual fund industry a decade ago by acquiring DBS Chola MF. It expanded the vertical in 2016 when it acquired the India mutual fund business of Fidelity. The company had average assets under management of Rs 71,000 crore as of December 31, 2019.

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