MUMBAI: Private equity major Blackstone has agreed to buy nearly 80% of affordable homes-focused Aadhar Housing Finance from the financially stretched Wadhawan group for an undisclosed sum.
The group's holding company Wadhawan Global Capital (WGC) will be selling its 70% stake in the company, while its listed mortgage lender subsidiary DHFL will also be exiting its investment, which is reported to be around 9%, as per a company statement Saturday.
The deal comes days after the group was alleged to have syphoned off over Rs. 31,000 crore of public money as reported by a news portal, which claimed loans were taken from DHFL and the money taken out of the country by the Wadhawans.
The group has denied all the allegations, even as the DHFL stock plunged since then.
It also comes amid the prolonged stress in the NBFC sector, wherein companies dependent on short-term borrowings for long-term lending have been facing difficulties since the IL&FS crisis came out in September. The DHFL stock was also hammered by investors over the same concerns then.
Private equity funds managed by Blackstone have entered into a definitive agreement with WGC to acquire its stake in Aadhar, a Wadhawan group statement said.
WGC chairman Kapil Wadhawan said the sale is part of a strategy to reduce corporate debt and strengthen the balance sheet.
It should also be seen as reinstating the group's focus on DHFL, the flagship company of the group and the third largest pure-play mortgage lender, he said.
Aadhar had posted a net profit of Rs. 99.72 crore in FY18 and other suitors for WGC's holding included Baring Private Equity and Hero Fincorp, according to reports.
The company has a network in 13 states, including Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.