BharatPe looks at PMC Bank in conjunction with Centrum

Among the four groups that have made submissions to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for the acquisition are BharatPe and Centrum Group. In the meantime, BharatPe and Centrum will hold equal shares in the company.

A joint expression of interest (EoI) was reportedly sent by the Indian QR code-based payment app BharatPe and the financial services company Centrum Group to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to jointly take over the struggling Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank.

According to a report in the Times of India, BharatPe and Centrum Group are among four parties that have made submissions to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for the acquisition. Both BharatPe and Centrum, meanwhile, will hold equal stakes in the company. The Centrum Group is owned by a former Standard Chartered honcho, Jaspal Bindra.

According to the news article, Steel Baron Sanjeev Gupta’s Liberty House Party has sent an EOI to the RBI. The names of the other candidates are not yet identified. 

This is the first time that NBFCs, companies, and high-net-worth individuals have demonstrated a strong interest in purchasing an urban-cooperative bank (UCB). 

Last Friday, the RBI extended the limits of PMC Bank until March 2021, when it is expected to analyze the proposals of possible suitors.

If it works, the acquisition will improve BharatPe’s lending sector. In two years, it plans to create a Rs 5,000-crore loan book. The over two-year-old Delhi-based startup, according to a source, will put its technical capability on top of the Mumbai-based Centrum’s core financial services experience and operate it as a small finance bank.

The paper inviting EoIs claimed that it would be available to new investors seeking to turn PMC Bank into a small finance bank. Bindra reported the developments, though Ashneer Grover, co-founder, and CEO of BharatPe, declined to comment. Liberty House spokeswoman has refused to comment.

 

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