Grapevine: Aadhar Housing mulls IPO; KKR, others shortlisted for Mahindra solar assets
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Aadhar Housing Finance, a portfolio company of alternative asset manager Blackstone, is evaluating an initial public offering (IPO), media reports said.

This could be the first IPO in the Indian housing finance segment in the last couple of years after Aavas Financiers raised Rs 1,640 in October 2018. In 2015, Blackstone-backed fragrance maker SH Kelkar raised Rs 500 crore through an IPO.

People familiar with the matter told Moneycontrol that the preliminary plan is to raise up to $400 million (Rs 2,972 crore).

“Blackstone is looking to make a partial exit through the proposed IPO,” one of the persons said.

In June 2019, Blackstone bought a majority stake in Aadhar Housing Finance from Diwan Housing Finance and the Wadhawan group for around Rs 2,200 crore. It holds around 98.7% stake in the firm.
True North-backed Home First Finance is another player that is keen to launch a Rs 1,500 crore IPO. 

Also, Brookfield Asset Management, KKR & Co., and the Centre-backed National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) have been shortlisted as potential buyers for about 617 megawatt (MW) assets of the solar energy platform owned by Mahindra group, a report said.

Their non-binding bids for the assets of Mahindra Susten are worth around $400 million each, people in the know told The Economic Times.

These investors have outbid Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Actis and Edelweiss Infra, they said.

The wholly owned unit of automotive giant Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd will offload assets across Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat.

In February, Mahindra announced a sale of three solar projects -- Cleansolar Renewable Energy Private Limited (CREPL), Divine Solren Private Limited (DSPL), and Neo Solren Private Limited (NSPL) to CLP India for Rs 340 crore. Later it terminated the share purchase agreement to sell stake in NSPL for Rs 104 crore.

In another development, the Centre is looking to change the regulations of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), enabling it to invest in the cash-starved infrastructure sector through alternative investment funds (AIFs), Business Standard said citing a finance ministry official.

The central government wants to channelise domestic savings and assets into infrastructure and reduce dependence on foreign investors.

According to initial estimates, domestic assets of about Rs 16 trillion can be channelised into infrastructure if the government liberalises the rules. At present, the EPFO is mandated to invest up to 45% of its incremental funds (of around Rs 1.5 trillion) in debt-related instruments.

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