The investment unit of World Bank, International Finance Corporation (IFC) has invested Rs. 135 crore ($29 million) in Microfinance firm Bandhan Financial Services to acquire a minority stake.
Amarchand Mangaldas advised Bandhan with a team led by Partner Kalpataru Tripathy along with Principal Associate Vineet Bansal, Principal Associate-Designate Arindam Sarkar and Senior Associate Saurya Bhattacharya.
AZB & Partners advised IFC with a team led by Partner Gautam Saha along with Senior Associate Amrita Patnaik.
Amarchand Partner Kalpataru Tripathy in a statement said, “Our association with Bandhan has been long and pleasant. It was delightful working alongside the Bandhan team once again for IFC’s investment as they look to expand to the next level”.
Bandhan is currently focussed on poverty alleviation and women’s empowerment through microfinance schemes across the country. It now intends to make a foray into the banking sector in the future.
According to VCCircle, the deal marks the single-largest exposure by the World Bank arm to India’s microfinance sector. The investment will enable Kolkata-based Bandhan, which is registered as a non-banking finance Company (NBFC), to shore up its networth to nearly Rs. 650 crore by March 2012. Bandhan is projected to reach out to 6.5 million customers with a loan book of Rs. 5,000 crore, maintaining minimum capital adequacy ratio (CAR) of 17 percent.
Bandhan aims to reach out to nearly 1,000,000 poor women and disburse Rs. 5,300 crore during FY 2011-12. It also aims to increase its loan book to Rs. 3,200 crore by March 2012. Bandhan currently reaches 3.5 million poor women through its network of 1,553 branches, spread across 18 states of the country, with a loan book of more than Rs. 2,400 crore. Most of its loan portfolio is accounted by West Bengal and North-Eastern states.
The deal is one of the largest investments in an MFI after Bangalore-based Janalakshmi Financial Services, micro finance institution (MFI) promoted by social entrepreneur Ramesh Ramanathan, had raised Rs. 65 crore ($14.4 million) from private equity major, Citi Venture Capital International (CVCI).