Private lender Lakshmi Vilas Bank (LVB) said on Monday it had been approached by Clix Capital but gave no details after media reported that the finance company had proposed taking a significant stake in LVB. The bank is in need of capital and has been trying to secure a buyer since last year. It issued its statement via the stock exchange after the Business Standard newspaper said Clix had proposed taking a majority stake in LVB, while The Economic Times said it had proposed buying a 49 per cent stake. LVB and Clix Capital did not immediately respond to emails from Reuters requesting comment.
Both companies focus on providing loans to consumers and small businesses. LVB, which has faced governance issues as well as a high level of bad loans, a lack of sufficient capital to manage risks and a negative return on assets for two consecutive years, said it had received the approach from Clix in a letter of intent dated June 12.
Clix Capital is majority owned by Mumbai-based private equity firm AION Capital Partners, which is a partnership between New York-based Apollo Global Management and ICICI Venture, a unit of India's ICICI Bank.
LVB had planned to merge with Indiabulls Housing Finance Ltd late last year but the plan fell through after it failed to secure the approval of the Reserve Bank of India.
LVB's capital adequacy ratio stood at 3.46 per cent at the end of December, it said in its quarterly results release in February, while the percentage of gross bad loans to total assets had inched up to 23.27 per cent.
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