IFC picks up over 7% stake in Religare Enterprises

International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector lending arm of the World Bank, has picked up 7.9 per cent stake in Religare Enterprises Ltd, a public listed holding arm of the diversified financial services group, as per a stock market disclosure. Factoring in another proposed preferential allotment, this will shrink to around 7.1 per cent.

Religare issued 12.8 million equity shares to IFC after conversion of 4 million compulsory convertible debentures (CCD) issued to IFC two years ago. At that time, IFC paid a total of $75 million for 1,000 equity shares and the CCDs.

The conversion price was Rs 315.85 per share. Religare scrip closed at Rs 303.30 per share, up 1.76 per cent on BSE in a strong Mumbai market on Tuesday.

Last month Religare entered into a definitive agreement with Standard Chartered Bank India and Bestest Developers Pvt Ltd to raise Rs 550 crore (over $90 million). It is issuing shares worth Rs 250 crore to Standard Chartered Bank (Mauritius) Ltd and securities worth Rs 300 crore to Bestest Developers.

Bestest Developers is owned by Dhillon family, which is closely associated with the promoters. Dhillons, after the proposed deal, will own around 19.7 per cent of Religare.

The promoters—Malvinder and Shivinder Singh—

held 60.71 per cent as on December 31, 2013 and after accounting for convertibles held by the public, they own around 55 per cent.

Singh brothers held over 71 per cent in Religare as of June 30, 2013. The promoters of Religare had previously initiated a process to cut their holding to 49 per cent to qualify Religare as a non-operating financial holding company (NOFHC) as per RBI guidelines to apply for a banking licence. Religare was not among the first set of firms picked by RBI to set up new banks in the country.

Religare operates as an integrated financial services company and through its subsidiaries has interests in brokerage, insurance, asset management, lending solutions, investment banking, wealth management and private equity.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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