Religare Enterprises, a New Delhi-based brokerage, said on Friday its board has approved to bid for acquiring IDBI Home Finance, a wholly owned subsidiary of IDBI Bank.

Media reports said that IDBI Bank hopes to raise Rs 170-200 crore from the sale of its home finance unit, which had loan portfolio stood at Rs 2,710 crore at the end of March 2008 and 18 branches across major cities.

Acquiring IDBI Home Finance is a strategic fit for Religare, as this would further consolidate its position in the financial services space. The brokerage house has been on a major inorganic expansion mode to grow itself into a fully-fledged financial services major.

Early 2008, Religare Enterprises acquired London’s oldest brokerage house Hichens Harrison in a $110 million deal. Ranbaxy Group's recently floated asset management arm Religare Aegon acquired Lotus India Asset Management Company reportdely for a value of Rs 100 crore.

These acquisitions diversify Religare, primarily a broking major into the businesses of asset management, international broking, insurance and into home finance, if the IDBI deal goes through.

Religare Enterprises Ltd is the financial services company owned by the promoters of Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals. Ranbaxy Pharmaceutical's Singhs signed a deal with Japanese pharma company Daiichi Sankyo in June 2008 to sell their 34.8% stake in the company for Rs 9,576 crore.

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