Blackstone-backed Aadhar Housing Finance files for $1 bln IPO

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BENGALURU, Jan 26 (Reuters) - India's Aadhar Housing Finance Ltd, backed by private equity firm Blackstone Group Inc, has filed for an initial public offering of up to 73 billion rupees ($999.68 million), draft papers submitted to the market regulator showed on Tuesday.

The offering will comprise a fresh issue of shares worth up to 15 billion rupees by the housing financier and shares worth up to 58 billion rupees by BCP Topco VII Pte Ltd, an entity managed by Blackstone that owns 98.72% in the company.

The filing follows blockbuster IPOs by Burger King India and Mrs Bectors Food Specialities in December that cashed in on a stock market rally fuelled by improving outlook for an economy hit by the pandemic.

The filing also comes at a time when non-banking financial companies are under tighter scrutiny from the central bank after the collapse of some heavyweights in the sector.

Aadhar Housing Finance will use proceeds from the fresh issue to boost its capital base. The company's capital to risk (weighted) assets ratio was 47.84% as of Sept. 30, 2020.

It is one of India's largest mortgage lenders to low-income earners. It had 114.32 billion rupees worth of assets under management as of March 31, 2020.

Shadow lender DHFL and other promoters of Aadhar Housing Finance sold their stake to BCP Topco in 2019.

Blackstone was seeking to raise at least $5 billion for its second private equity fund focused on Asia, Bloomberg News reported in November.

ICICI Securities, Citigroup Global Markets India, Nomura Financial Advisory and Securities (India) and SBI Capital Markets are the lead book running managers for the IPO. ($1 = 73.0231 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Chris Thomas in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)