Grapevine: Citi mulls selling credit card vertical; PEs eye stake in Strides Pharma
Photo Credit: Reuters

Citibank is exploring the option of selling the credit card vertical of its Indian consumer banking business separately at a valuation north of Rs 4,000 crore, The Economic Times report said citing people familiar with the matter. 

The people added that investment bankers, including Citi’s internal team, have reached out to several companies including Reliance, Pine Labs, Paytm, and an Indian merchant platform company. However, the report said that Paytm declined any such talks. 

DBS, Kotak Mahindra Bank, HDFC Bank, Tata Capital, Axis Bank, IDFC First Bank and ICICI Bank could already be in the race to buy Citibank’s entire India consumer business. 

Citi’s consumer banking business comprises credit cards, retail banking, home loans, and wealth management. It is the sixth-largest card issuer in India. 

“Citi would like to bargain a better deal for its credit card business which will be a lucrative prospect for an ambitious lender who is unable to grow organically. Selling the business piecemeal is a far better strategy,” said a banker. “The credit card business is the only piece that most potential buyers are interested in,” the banker added. 

Strides Pharma

Global private equity firms including Carlyle Group, KKR, Advent and Baring Asia are in talks with Arun Kumar and KR Ravishankar to buy their stake in Strides Pharma Science, as the promoters are looking to monetise stake, The Economic Times said. 

Kumar recently sold his promoter stake in SeQuent Scientific, India’s largest animal health company, to Carlyle.  

In fact, later SeQuent Scientific agreed to sell its 3.7% stake in Strides Pharma to Kumar’s family office for Rs 157.3 crore.  

The promoters, who together hold around 30% stake valued at around Rs 2,500 crore, are looking to cash out on their entire shareholding, multiple sources said. A transaction will also trigger an open offer to minority shareholders, as mandated by Indian regulations. 

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