Hedge Fund Revises Bid for India Shadow Bank to Skirt RBI Delay
A man counts Indian rupee banknotes near the BSE building in Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Hedge Fund Revises Bid for India Shadow Bank to Skirt RBI Delay

Ares Management Corp.-backed hedge fund SSG Capital Management has revised the structure of its bid for an Indian shadow lender to help sidestep delays in regulatory approval.

SSG tweaked its 27.5 billion rupee ($374 million) cash bid for Altico Capital India Ltd. to focus on buying the assets of the lender, rather than the firm itself, according to people familiar with the matter.

The cash consideration remains unchanged, the people said.

The move by the Hong Kong-based hedge fund underscores the complexities of business in India, where deals can languish for months amid rules and regulatory approvals. Altico has been closely watched as India deals with a broader crisis in the shadow bank industry that began in late 2018 and has been complicated by the pandemic, though there have been some signs of improvement.

SSG had previously sought waivers of certain central bank rules, but the Reserve Bank of India was reluctant to do so, fearing it could create precedent for a relaxation of the rules, the people said. Relaxations sought included capital adequacy and borrowers’ concentration exposure, which are applicable to shadow lenders in the country, the people said.

Representatives for Altico declined to comment, while Ares and RBI didn’t immediately respond to emails seeking comment.

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