KKR to buy assets from Indian shadow lenders


MUMBAI • KKR & Co Inc is seeking to acquire assets from stressed Indian shadow lenders, as it tries to take advantage of the market disruption after a rare money market default by Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd.

The private equity firm’s two Indian credit units may spend as much as 20 billion rupees (RM1.12 billion) combined to purchase portfolios from local non-banking finance companies, Sanjay Nayar, KKR’s India CEO, said in an phone interview last Friday.

“We believe current market conditions offer attractive opportunities to buy portfolios of structured credit and real estate credit,” Nayar said.

KKR is also seeking outright acquisitions of Indian nonbank lenders and their employee teams, people with knowledge of the matter said.

It’s looking for targets that could help diversify its lending in areas including small and medium enterprises, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.

The buyout firm follows State Bank of India, the country’s largest bank, which last week tripled its target for asset purchases from such shadow lenders.

India’s central bank warned earlier this month of stricter regulations in the offing to ward off default risks rising from the so-called asset liability mismatch.

KKR has invested around US$2.5 billion (RM10.4 billion) in the country this year, including about US$920 million spent in private equity transactions.