Real Estate

Cash-starved DHFL confident of bringing strategic investor by mid-July

KR Srivats New Delhi | Updated on June 28, 2019 Published on June 28, 2019

A bird flies past a signboard of Dewan Housing Finance Corporation outside its office in Mumbai   -  REUTERS

‘Process to rope in strategic investor on track’

The $22-billion Wadhawan Global Capital (WGC) is confident of roping in a strategic partner in its cash-strapped mortgage lending firm DHFL by mid-July, a top official said.

The process of identifying the strategic investor is very much on and the deal is expected to be closed soon, according to this senior management official who did not wish to be identified.

As many as four private equity firms including KKR, Cerebrus and AION Capital are in the race to pick anywhere between 15 and 30 per cent equity in DHFL, it is learnt.

Currently, the promoters — Wadhawan family — control close to 40 per cent in DHFL.

There is an expectation that the proposed strategic investor would pump in close to $1 billion in DHFL and this could help reduce the debt-equity ratio of DHFL, which is battling a liquidity squeeze, to more acceptable levels.

Contrary to media reports, DHFL is not looking to split the company or offload large-scale wholesale real estate loans before roping in a strategic investor, sources said.

It is understood that the prospective strategic investors are keen to buy into DHFL as a whole, including the component of wholesale real estate loans.

There were earlier reports that DHFL may first sell wholesale real estate loans worth ₹17,000-18,000 crore to US-based Oaktree Capital before bringing in a strategic investor.

The troubled mortgage lender has been defaulting on its repayment obligations, especially on commercial paper transactions.

Meanwhile, WGC is also looking to exit from its life insurance venture — DHFL Pramerica Life Insurance, a company in which it has 51 per cent shareholding.

Plans are afoot to exit from its wholly-owned general insurance entity (DHFL General Insurance) too, sources said.

Board meeting postponed

DHFL on Friday said that it was postponing its board meeting for the fourth quarter results/annual results for 2018-19 from the earlier announced June 29 to July 13.

This is being done in light of certain unforeseen operational engagements including non-availability of a few directors to ensure participation of all the members of the Audit Committee as well as the Board for taking into consideration and approval of the financial results, DHFL said in a regulatory filing with the stock exchanges.

 

 

Published on June 28, 2019
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