Moneycontrol
Jul 09, 2017 11:22 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

A $10 billion deal! IDFC, Shriram merger to create a financial powerhouse

Once merged, Shriram City Union Finance will be absorbed into IDFC Bank while Shriram Transport Finance will remain a standalone entity under the group. Shriram Life Insurance and Shriram General Insurance will have IDFC as a substantial shareholder.

Shriram Group and IDFC Group have entered into an exclusivity arrangement for a period of 90 days to explore a merger between the two entities to create a USD 10 billion-plus financial powerhouse. Once merged, Shriram City Union Finance will be absorbed into IDFC Bank while Shriram Transport Finance will remain a standalone entity under the group. Shriram Asset Management Company, Shriram Life Insurance and Shriram General Insurance will be part of IDFC Ltd.

In a notification to the exchanges, IDFC Bank said that their board of directors have approved entering into a confidentiality, exclusivity and standstill agreement to evaluate a potential combination of certain businesses and subsidiaries of Shriram Group engaged in credit and non-credit financial services with IDFC Group.

Shriram Group founder R Thyagarajan said that this is a great vision and that they are enthusiastic about possibility of this amalgamation.

Ajay Piramal, chairman of Shriram Capital said that they will need approvals from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) and Competition Commission of India (CCI) for the merger.

“The aim is to create a financial conglomerate that will have a largest mass retail universal bank platform at its centre that will help reach millions of small customers and entrepreneurs that are the backbone of our society,” said Piramal.

Lauding both the entities for the proposal, HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh said, "Hope this marriage happens."

Shriram Capital which has multiple businesses including Shriram City Union Finance, Shriram Transport Finance, Shriram Life Insurance will merge with IDFC (IDFC Bank) once the deal is approved by their respective boards post the 90-day period.

Rajiv Lall, founder MD & CEO, IDFC Bank said that together, this give customers access to a full range of protection, credit, savings and wealth management solutions

“It is a marriage made in heaven looking at the complementarity of our respective businesses. Once the merger is completed, we will have a wholesale corporate community along with understanding of deep retail finance customers,” said Lall. It will give access to 10 million customers for IDFC Bank.

Under the deal structure, all the operating businesses of the group will come under IDFC Group. While the retail centric business will be absorbed directly into IDFC Bank, Shriram Transport Finance will remain a standalone entity but will be under IDFC.

Lall explained that in the insurance business, the IDFC group will own a substantial stake in it. “It is a complex transaction and this will take time. The boards will have to approve the final scheme and it could take 12 months to be effective,” he said. The entire integration is expected to take 18-24 months.

Giving the rationale behind keeping Shriram Transport Finance as a standalone entity, Lall said that if they were merged into IDFC Bank, it would have led to dilution of IDFC ownership in the Bank which is a violation of RBI rules.

Though both the entities have given a timeline of 90 days to evaluate the merger and decide on the swap ratio, Piramal added that they could extend this deadline if required.
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