PNB, Carlyle to sell housing finance company
Debt-laden Punjab National Bank (PNB) and private equity giant Carlyle Group would jointly sell PNB Housing Finance in the July-September quarter of the current financial year. PNB and Carlyle own around 33% stake each, which is together worth over Rs 12,000 crore, or $1.8 billion, at current market value. PNB, reeling under the Nirav Modi fraud, is seeking to sell non-core assets to raise capital.
Carlyle was engaged in informal, exploratory talks to sell its stake but had been waiting for a PNB decision before launching the sale process. Morgan Stanley would be advising Carlyle, while PNB is yet to decide on the adviser.
Blackstone, Baring Asia, Kotak Mahindra Bank and HDFC could be potential suitors for the housing finance company. The last two names, which are strategic acquirers, would be keen on the asset if sellers are open to a share-swap deal and not an all-cash transaction. General Atlantic, which owns around 8%, might buy more if they strike a joint bid or sell out to an incoming investor.