Blackstone to Invest INR 150 Cr in FINO

By Team YS|7th Jul 2011
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Largest Private Equity investment in supporting Financial Inclusion in India

New York / Mumbai, 07 July 2011: The Blackstone Group (NYSE: BX), announced today an investment of Rs 150 Crores (approximately US $ 33 million) in FINO Limited (FINO) for a significant minority stake. FINO is a pioneer in providing integrated technology solutions and physical network to enable financial inclusion in India. FINO is a channel with enabling technology platform for an end–to-end sourcing & servicing of micro customers in rural India on scale across a range of basic financial products and services.

FINO works with most of the leading banks in the country across a comprehensive product suite - saving bank accounts, recurring deposits, loan products, remittances, insurance products, government subsidies disbursement, among others. The Company has enrolled more than 35 million customers and plans to double its customer base in the next couple of years.

Mr. Manish Khera, Chief Executive Officer, FINO Limited, said: “The Company has done well and the outlook is even stronger with Government focus of using Business Correspondent channel for cash subsidies and RBI’s drive to achieve total financial inclusion. We are quite excited to partner with Blackstone. FINO is a pioneer in the financial inclusion space and we plan to extensively leverage Blackstone’s global expertise of scaling up and transforming businesses.”

“With Blackstone joining our shareholder group and the Board, we look forward to more exciting time ahead and hope to contribute even better and bigger to the financial inclusion initiative. The funds that we have raised will primarily be utilized towards funding overall growth of the company and to meet long term capital requirements” added Mr. Rishi Gupta, Chief Financial Officer, FINO limited.

Mr. Akhil Gupta, Chairman and Managing Director of Blackstone Advisors India Private Limited, said “India has a significantly high number of financially excluded households – more than 100 Million, with an exclusion rate of over 50%. The exclusion is much more prevalent in the rural areas. For sustainable and inclusive growth, India needs to extend basic utilities like financial services to the excluded population. As a dominant market leader, FINO is uniquely positioned to capitalize on this opportunity. While growing at almost 100% CAGR in the last few years, FINO has demonstrated conviction and commitment to changing India’s rural banking landscape. We are proud to partner with FINO and to participate in an initiative that is a high priority for our country.”

FINO is headquartered in Mumbai and employs over 2500 employees and 20000 business correspondent agents spread across 239 offices. With over 35 million customer base across 300 districts across 24 states, FINO delivers financial products and services including banking, insurance & remittances in the first and last mile. FINO solutions are anchored around using biometric smart card, hand-held devices and Micro Deposit Machines to perform field operations and biometric authentication.

E&Y advised FINO for this fund raising.

About FINO

FINO Limited (FINO) is an integrated technology platform and delivery channel and aims to provide innovative, technical and management services for the masses, in both financial and non-financial domain. Built on a foundation of organic growth, FINO draws its strength from its unique integrated business model of technology, field force, central operations and products & solutions bouquet. FINO's technology is built on a robust, scalable and comprehensive platform which is developed at the state of the art in-house R&D facility. FINO’s field force are the pioneers in sourcing and servicing of micro-customers across range of products. The company’s central operations have developed the ability to process and handle large volume of customer data and mitigate risk. FINO's products and solutions enable opportunity for businesses to roll out multiple product strategy for consumption by micro-customers. More information is available at www.fino.co.in

About The Blackstone Group

Blackstone is one of the world’s leading investment and advisory firms. We seek to create positive economic impact and long-term value for our investors, the companies we invest in, the companies we advise and the broader global economy. We do this through the commitment of our extraordinary people and flexible capital. Our alternative asset management businesses include the management of corporate private equity funds, real estate funds, funds of hedge funds, credit-oriented funds, collateralized loan obligation vehicles (CLOs) and closed-end mutual funds. The Blackstone Group also provides various financial advisory services, including mergers and acquisitions advisory, restructuring and reorganization advisory and fund placement services. Further information is available at http://www.blackstone.com

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