KKR & Co. and Blackstone Group LP are among suitors that have expressed interest in acquiring a stake in Shriram Group, the Indian finance conglomerate backed by billionaire Ajay Piramal, people with knowledge of the matter said.
The two private equity firms have each held preliminary talks in recent months about buying stakes in Chennai-based Shriram Group owned by Piramal Enterprises Ltd., TPG and an employee trust, according to the people. An investment could total about $3 billion, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.
A deal would require group holding company Shriram Capital Ltd. to first finalize plans for a three-way merger with its publicly traded arms, Shriram Transport Finance Co. and Shriram City Union Finance Ltd., the people said. The private-equity suitors are interested in holding a stake in a single listed entity encompassing the group’s combined business, and they weren’t comfortable having long-term exposure to an illiquid holding company, the people said.
India’s finance industry has seen $7 billion of acquisitions this year by buyers ranging from Actis LLP to Singapore’s Temasek Holdings Pte, data compiled by Bloomberg show. US investment firm Varde Partners Inc. and Aditya Birla Capital Ltd. are planning to spend as much as $1 billion on Indian distressed assets through a new joint venture, Bloomberg News reported last month.