Japan Banks, Grab Are Vying For Home Credit’s $2 Billion Assets


Japanese lenders Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., Mizuho Financial Group Inc. and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. are among suitors shortlisted in the bidding of consumer lender Home Credit’s assets in Southeast Asia and India, according to people familiar with the matter.

Grab Holdings Ltd., Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing and delivery giant, has also proceeded into the next round, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. The owner is seeking a valuation of $2 billion to $2.5 billion for the businesses in Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines and India, they said.

Some bidders have expressed interest in acquiring the entire Southeast Asian and Indian portfolio, while others are interested in Southeast Asia only, the people said. Considerations are ongoing and the companies could still decide against pursuing a transaction, the people said.

Home Credit, owned by late Czech billionaire Petr Kellner’s family, has been in discussions with advisers about options including partnerships and selling stakes in Southeast Asia and India to help raise cash for the group, Bloomberg News has reported.

Japanese lenders have been keen buyers of assets across Asia in recent years as they seek to expand in new markets amid low interest rates and sluggish growth at home. For Grab, which has seen wider-than-expected losses and a 55% plunge in its share price, a purchase of Home Credit’s assets could help diversify and build its financial services unit. Last year, Grab increased its ownership in the Indonesian mobile wallet provider Ovo to about 90% by acquiring stakes from PT Tokopedia and Lippo Group.

Representatives for the Japanese banks and a representative for the Kellner family’s investment firm, PPF Group NV, declined to comment. A representative for Grab didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

PPF canceled a $1.5 billion Hong Kong share sale for Home Credit in November 2019, citing market conditions. Kellner died aged 56 in a helicopter crash last year.

Home Credit was founded in 1997 and has operations in nine countries across Asia, central and eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. After the fall of communism in the Czech Republic, Kellner forged PPF Group, a holding company with interests spanning finance, telecommunications, manufacturing, media and biotechnology.