India's Piramal to partner Bain Capital for distressed-debt investment

Wed Aug 24, 2016 2:07am EDT
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MUMBAI Aug 24 (Reuters) - India's Piramal Enterprises Ltd said it would partner Bain Capital to invest in distressed assets, becoming the latest entrant in the space as the nation's banks are on a drive to clean up $120 billion of sour debt.

"Once finalized, the platform will invest capital directly into businesses and/or acquire debt of such businesses to drive sensible restructurings," the two sides said in a joint statement late on Tuesday, adding that the sponsors believed there was an opportunity to invest more than $1 billion in this space over the next few years.

The diversified company, headed by billionaire Ajay Piramal, has previously talked about plans to set up a distressed assets fund with an investment of up to $1 billion.

India's banks are cleaning up their books after an order by their regulator Reserve Bank of India, creating more opportunity for investors in distressed assets.

In July, Canada's Brookfield Asset Management Inc and top Indian lender State Bank of India announced plans to set up a joint venture to invest about $1 billion in Indian distressed assets.

Earlier this month, India's biggest private lender ICICI Bank Ltd and private equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC said they would set up an asset reconstruction company in India to buy into troubled loans held by banks.

($1 = 67.1100 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)