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AZB in Religare pre-banking sell-off, Desai & D helps US bank pick up $50m

Desai & Diwanji has acted for US NASDAQ-listed Philadelphia-headquartered bank Customers Bancorp, which invested $22m in Religare Enterprises that was assisted by AZB & Partners in Delhi.

This was Desai & Diwanji’s first instruction for Customers Bancorp, which bought a 5 per cent stake in Religare. The team was led by Mumbai partners Apurva Diwanji and Natasha Treasurywala and associates Sneha Vardhan and Kabir Barat.

AZB New Delhi partner Vinati Kastia, who has been a long-standing adviser of Religare, led with partner Ritika Rathi and senior associate Satyajit Gupta. Associates Shiladitya Banerjee, Ankit Tandon, Shaili Parsheera and Saiyam Chaturvedi also assisted in the matter.

$22m of shares were bought from the Religare founders, reported Mint, with around $28m in preferential share warrants in Religare convertible within 18 months. The primary sale of shares to Customers happened in August, with the secondary issue occurring on 19 September.

The non-banking finance company Religare has been selling shares – also in the open market - in a bid to comply with Reserve Bank of India (RBI) regulations that a majority of shares be held by the public when applying for banking permits.

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