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February 24, 2012 3:04 PM

Paul, Weiss Helps Citi Shed Stake in Indian Mortgage Lender for $1.9 Billion

Posted by Tom Huddleston Jr.

Citigroup Inc. confirmed Friday that it has unloaded its stake in India's Housing Development Finance Corporation Ltd. (HDFC) in a stock sale expected to bring in proceeds of $1.9 billion.

Citigroup plans to sell more than 145 million shares in Mumbai-based HDFC—one of India's top providers of housing finance—on that country's National Stock Exchange. The stock represents the Manhattan-based financial services giant's entire 9.85 percent interest in HDFC, and the sale is expected to result in an after-tax gain of roughly $722 million. Last June, Citigroup—which still employs some 8,000 people in India—announced that it was reducing its stake in the housing lender by about 1.5 percent from 11.4 percent.

Citigroup said the sale is part of "ongoing capital planning efforts," and Bloomberg reports that Citigroup is one of several global banks planning to raise cash by selling Asian assets in order to comply with new global capital rules requiring lenders to have higher reserves on hand in case of unforeseen economic downturns. HSBC and Goldman Sachs are among the banks that have raised capital in a similar fashion recently, Bloomberg adds.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison is representing Citigroup in the stock sale. The firm also advised on the bank's original purchase of a stake in HDFC, in 2006. The Paul, Weiss team working on the stock sale includes corporate partner David Lakhdhir, securities and capital markets cohead Mark Bergman, and corporate counsel Patrick Scott.

Indian firm Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co. is serving as local counsel to Citigroup, according to a company spokeswoman.

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