Blackstone-owned Indian home loans provider Aadhar Housing Finance is targeting a $600 million-650 million initial public offering (IPO) at a valuation of up to $3 billion, two people with direct knowledge said on Tuesday.

Private equity group Blackstone acquired Aadhar for about $300 million in 2019 as it bet on growing demand for affordable housing and financing in India.

The IPO attempt is Aadhar’s second shot at a listing after a $1 billion IPO plan in 2022 was called off amid market volatility that followed the Russia-Ukraine war.

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Aadhar plans to file its IPO papers with India’s market regulator within the next two weeks, both sources said.
A deal would be the latest example of private equity investors looking to sell parts of their companies amid record stock markets in India – a rare bright spot for global investors.

The country is currently seeing record listing plans, driven by expectations of political stability and a fast-growing economy. Its stock market recently overtook that of Hong Kong to become the world’s fourth biggest, and benchmark index Sensex is trading near record highs.

“Blackstone wants to capitalise on these market conditions and sell a part of its stake. Timing is key to gradually sell down,” said one of the two sources, who declined to be named as the IPO plan is still confidential.

Aadhar has appointed investment banks Citi and India’s Kotak and ICICI as advisors for its latest IPO filing, with a listing in Mumbai planned by May, said the sources.

Blackstone, Nomura and Citi declined to comment. Kotak, ICICI and Aadhar did not respond to queries seeking comments.
Aadhar offers housing loans of up to $18,000 to people with monthly incomes as low as $75 in a country where rising real estate prices have made home ownership increasingly difficult in major cities.
Most of its loans are to “economically weaker sections and low income groups”, the company says.
While mortgage loans in India are dominated by state-owned and private banks, newer private equity-owned firms are trying to gain market share. Investors such as Warburg Pincus and Morgan Stanley have bet on the space in recent years.

Aadhar says it manages $2 billion worth of loans, with 479 branches in 20 Indian states. In 2022-23 its net profit grew 22% to $65 million, while its total income grew 18% to $245 million, its annual report showed.

Source: Reuters

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