Carlyle, KKR Interested in ICICI’s Stake in 3i Infotech

(Reuters) – Private equity firms Carlyle, Apax Partners and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR.AS) are interested in buying India’s ICICI Group’s 27 percent stake in IT firm 3i Infotech (TIIN.BO), the Economic Times reported on Tuesday.

The acquisition will require the buyer to launch a mandatory open offer for a further 20 percent from other shareholders, taking the deal value to 8 billion-9 billion rupees ($170 million-$190 million), the newspaper said quoting an unnamed investment banker.

“It is a financial investment and we look at opportunities to unlock value on an ongoing basis,” it quoted an ICICI spokesman as saying.

Officials at Apax, Carlyle and KKR could not immediately be reached.

ICICI Group, which holds its stake in 3i Infotech through ICICI Bank and ICICI Strategic Investments Fund, has been paring its holding in the IT firm in the open market and had sold about 5.7 million shares in early October, the Economic Times said. ($1=46.6 rupees)

(Writing by Sumeet Chatterjee; Editing by Ranjit Gangadharan)