IDFC Bank, Shriram Capital enter 90-day merger talks

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IDFC and the Chennai-based Shriram group on Saturday said they had entered 90 days of merger talks.

Under the tentative arrangement, IDFC Ltd will be the holding company of the merged entity; Shriram City Union Finance, the retail lending arm of Shriram Capital, will be merged with IDFC Bank; and Shriram Transport Finance will be a fully owned subsidiary of IDFC, which will also own 75 per cent of the life and general insurance arms of Shriram Capital.

Disclosing this, Rajiv Lall, managing director of IDFC Bank, said it was a “complex transaction”.

This is an exclusive arrangement for 90 days to jointly explore a merger. No transaction has taken place and valuations have not been fixed,” said Ajay Piramal, chairman of Shriram Capital.

This gives us an opportunity to create a financial conglomerate with a universal bank at its centre, whose focus will be to provide a full range of products to millions of small customers and entrepreneurs,” Piramal said.

The groups are clear that the merger should be beneficial for shareholders. “If it is not going to benefit all shareholders, we will not pursue it,” said R Thyagarajan, founder of the Shriram group.

After the merger, the mutual fund arm of IDFC would be integrated with Shriram Asset Management and could be listed, Lall said. Shriram Transport Finance, which has assets under management of Rs 80,000 crore and a customer base of 1.4 million, may be delisted, post-merger.

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