Sachin Bansal buys DHFL Gen Insurance

MUMBAI: Flipkart cofounder Sachin Bansal has acquired DHFLNSE -0.58 % General Insurance from Wadhawan Global Capital (WGC) for around Rs. 100 crore, people in the know of the deal said. The transaction is seen as a distress sale for WGC, which used to run bankrupt home financier Dewan Housing Finance, one of the persons said.

Bansal’s bet on the insurance firm is part of his broader ambition in financial services industry, and comes on the back of multiple investments he has made to bulk up his portfolio of firms in the sector.

The deal has been routed through Navi Technologies, formerly BAC Acquisitions which Bansal had founded along with IIT-Delhi batchmate Ankit Agarwal after selling stake in Flipkart in 2018.

Sources said Bansal has bought out the entire stake in the insurer, held by Kapil Wadhawan-owned WGC.

“Navi is actively scouting for opportunities in BFSI space,” a spokesperson for the company said when contacted by ET. “Specifically, it is interested in the intersection of technology and financial services, where we believe technology can be harnessed to improve access and availability of financial services,” the spokesperson said.

A spokesperson for WGC did not comment. Dewan Housing, which was the flagship company of WGC, is currently facing bankruptcy resolution in the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT). WGC, which owns 39% in the mortgage lender, used to manage more than $22 billion of assets through its lending, investment and protection platforms before Dewan Housing was taken to the NCLT.

DHFL General Insurance has about Rs 400 crore assets under management.

“Bansal wants to get a footing into the banking and financial services sector. There has been a lot of talk about him being keen on obtaining a banking licence and has been looking at opportunities in the asset management space,” a source said.

Bansal’s move to step into the insurance sector comes on the back of Navi Technologies acquiring a majority stake in Chaitanya Rural Intermediation Development Services, which runs a microfinance platform. Having picked up more than 90% stake in  Chaitanya, he took over as its chief executive last year. He had at the time said he would invest ?739 crore in the NBFC.

Recently, Navi bought out Bengaluru-based MavenHive for an undisclosed sum, bringing on board employees along with founders Bhavin Javia and Anandha Krishnan.

Among the most active entrepreneur investors, Bansal has been actively backing startups for the past few years. After his departure from Flipkart, he began focussing on financing through debt in the past year, backing startups like Bounce, Vogo and a host of financial services companies such as Altico Capital and IndoStar Finance.

In one of his largest investments, he had pumped in Rs 650 crore into Ola.

As for WGC, early last year it sold a 49.04% stake in Avanse Financial Services, another group company where Dewan Housing held 30.63%. The Warburg Pincus group was the buyer.

PE funds managed by Blackstone acquired a 97.7% stake in Aadhar Housing Finance, which included the entire stake held by existing controlling shareholders, WGC and Dewan Housing, in June last year.

Source: Economic Times

Date: 10th January 2020

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