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CRIF acquires majority stake in High Mark

LiveMint logoLiveMint 04-06-2014 Nikita Abhyankar

Mumbai: CRIF SpA acquired majority stake in High Mark Credit Information Services Pvt. Ltd for an undisclosed amount, the companies announced in a joint statement. CRIF will hold 74% stake in the Indian credit information firm.

CRIF is an Italian company providing credit information services, decision support and software solutions. Already a strategic investor in High Mark, CRIF’s move to increase its minority stake falls in line with the government relaxing the foreign direct investment (FDI) norms for credit information companies.

In July 2013, the government allowed up to 74% FDI in credit information companies through the automatic route that was earlier capped at 49%.

Larry Howell of CRIF will be the chairman of the newly constituted board while Kalpana Pandey of High Mark will continue to be chief executive and managing director.

Howell, who has been instrumental in setting up India’s first credit bureau, Credit Information Bureau India Ltd, said with CRIF and High Mark coming together, the credit bureau will play an important role in the promotion of a more “mature credit culture” in India, sustaining the financial needs of businesses and consumers.

SBI Capital Markets Ltd acted as financial advisor to High Mark for the transaction. “This investment is very good for High Mark, as the backing of a strong global player like CRIF would put the company on a strong footing with access to funds and best global technologies,” said Avinash Kulkarni, executive vice president at SBI Capital Markets.

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