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Report: Carlyle eyes controlling stake in India-based housing finance company

U.S.-based Carlyle Group LP is looking to acquire Punjab National Bank's stake in PNB Housing Finance Ltd., a move that would give the private equity firm a controlling stake in the housing finance firm, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News.

The report came after Carlyle in November withdrew from a joint plan with Punjab National Bank to sell their stakes in PNB Housing Finance. Carlyle and Punjab National Bank hold 32.4% and 32.8% stakes, respectively, in the company. Based on PNB Housing Finance's closing price on Dec. 17, Punjab National Bank's stake was valued at about 53 billion Indian rupees.

Carlyle wants to boost its stake in PNB Housing Finance as valuations for the company have become attractive, the sources told Bloomberg, without elaborating. Talks for the PNB Housing Finance stake are at an early stage, and the parties may not secure a deal, the sources said. Meanwhile, other parties have also shown interest in acquiring the stake, the people said.

Carlyle's Hong Kong-based spokeswoman Tammy Li declined to comment. A spokesman for Punjab National Bank did not immediately respond to Bloomberg's email for comment.

As of Dec. 17, US$1 was equivalent to 71.59 Indian rupees.