New York Life-led Group to Take 30% in Centrum Direct
Ballas’ India Interest
$600 million Mumbai: A group of private equity investors, led by New York Life Insurance and India-focussed Jacob Ballas, have agreed to invest $50 million in Centrum Direct, the foreign exchange business of Centrum Group, as the company gears up for expansion after ex-Standard Chartered banker Jaspal Bindra became the chairman of the firm.
The private equity investors will pick up a little more than 30% stake, valuing the foreign exchange business of the group at .₹ 1,000 crore.
The promoters will channelise the funds into the new lending businesses of Housing and SME Finance, multiple sources close to the deal told The deal is expected to be announced on Wednesday. When contacted, Centrum declined to comment, while a mail sent to Jacob Ballas remained unanswered till the time of going to press. New York Life has invested $20 million while other investors contributed the rest.
Jacob Ballas is an India-focussed private equity fund and manages close to $600 million across three separate funds. The company has investments in Adlabs, Karaikkal Ports and Vivimed Labs.
In addition to forex, Centrum is an established player in investment banking, wealth management, institutional broking and has recently forayed into retail lending businesses of Housing and SME Finance. Centrum’s forex business is one of the largest in the market, with presence at 18 airports.
In FY 2015-16, Centrum Direct reported a gross turnover of over .₹ 5,000 crore and an EBITDA of approximately .₹ 70 crore. Centrum Direct registered a standalone CAGR of over 30% over the past 5 years. In April last year, Jaspal Bindra, former executive director and head of Standard Chartered’s Asian operations, joined as executive chairman of Centrum group.
Under Bindra, the group has undergone a series of new initiatives including the tweaking of its business strategy and expansion of its core businesses. In November, it launched a .₹ 500-crore private equity fund aimed at investing in small and mid-sized companies. The new fund will be the first of such funds from Centrum. Last week, the company hired Shujaat Khan, former partner at Chrys Capital and co-founder of domestic private equity firm, Blue River Capital, as head of its asset management business.
Centrum’s forex business is one of the largest in the market, with presence at 18 airports
Indiafocussed private equity fund
across three separate funds
in Adlabs, Karaikkal Ports and Vivimed Labs Indulal PM & Saikat Das