India: PE firm Arpwood Partners to buy majority stake in housing finance firm Sitara for $82m

India: PE firm Arpwood Partners to buy majority stake in housing finance firm Sitara for $82m

Source: Freepik

SEWA Grih Rin Ltd (Sitara) has signed an agreement with buyout-focused private equity firm Arpwood Partners and some existing investors to raise Rs 705 crore ($84.65 million) in equity for financing its business growth.

Arpwood Partners has agreed to invest Rs 680 crore and acquire a majority stake in the company, while existing investors including Abler Nordic, Oikocredit, RNT Associates (investment entity sponsored by Ratan Tata), HDFC Bank, HDFC Life Insurance, Women’s World Banking Asset Management, and Omidyar Network and will continue to remain invested in the firm.

Sitara, which began operations in 2015 as an affordable housing finance company for under-served and low-income households in urban and peri-urban locations with a special focus on enabling property ownership by women in the informal sector, operates through a network of 75 branches in nine states. It has assets under management of about Rs 1,200 crore with more than 25,000 customers.

With the capital, the firm plans to increase its customer count to 500,000 in the next five years.

“We believe that lending to self-employed customers with informal incomes is a structurally attractive opportunity. We will work with current shareholders to grow the franchise profitably, expand the distribution network, and invest in the team,” Arpwood Partners spokesperson said.

In December, Sitara secured $14.3 million in in debt financing from the UK’s development finance institution and impact investor British International Investment (BII), to enhance its loan book and expand operations into new locations.

Floated by former India head of Carlyle Rajeev Gupta, Arpwood has backed companies including Vishal Mega Mart, SBI, and Sterling Hospitals.

Edited by: Joymitra Rai

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