At least five private equity firms, including Carlyle, Standard Chartered PE, NewQuest, Tata Opportunities Fund and Blackstone, are in the race to buy IFCI‘s 26 per cent stake in Stock Holding Corporation of India, according to a report in Times of India.
Stock Holding Corp is the largest custodian of securities in the country. IFCI currently holds about 53 per cent stake in the company, which provides post trading and custodial services to institutional investors, mutual funds, banks, insurance companies, etc. It has 196 offices across the country.
Around 10 players, including several private equity players, have shown interest for the stake, the report said quoting sources. Financial bids will be called after the shortlisting process is completed and the bidders conduct due diligence.
IFCI is keen to close the deal by the end of March and book the gains during the current quarter itself, said a source.
Prior to IFCI’s decision to sell its stake earlier this year, the board of Stock Holding Corp had also cleared a plan for an initial public offer. The company was aiming to raise around Rs 700-900 crore through the IPO last year.
IFCI is in the process of exiting several of its non-core investments. Funds raised through the sale of its stake in companies such as the National Stock Exchange are being used to provide for non-performing assets.
In 2011, IFCI had acquired ] around 17 per cent stake from ICICI Bank at Rs 818 per share making it the largest shareholder in SHCIL. Subsequently in 2014, it acquired another 19 per cent from IDBI Bank at Rs 851 per share.