The Shriram Group on Friday denied reports that it may submit an expression of interest to acquire IDBI Bank under the privatisation process for the bank.

“We wish to deny categorically that the news reports of an acquisition by STFC of a Bank is speculative in nature. The reports are inaccurate, and we are not, nor have we been, in merger talks with any bank,” Shriram Transport Finance said in a statement.

Reports had suggested that Chennai-based Shriram Group is looking to set up a holding company structure to submit a bid for state-owned IDBI Bank, that is being sold through a competitive bidding process.

Shriram Group may submit the bid as the lead member of a consortium and is still in talks with prospective investors to join the consortium, the reports said. Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Financial is also reportedly a contender to acquire the bank.

In October, the government had announced its plan to sell the majority of its holding in IDBI Bank, the deadline for submitting the expression of interest (EoI) for which is December 16.

The government and state-run Life Insurance Corporation of India, which cumulatively hold 95 per cent, are looking to sell 61 per cent shareholding in IDBI Bank. Post the proposed sale, the government will hold 15 per cent residual stake, while LIC will have 19 per cent stake.