Centrum Group acquires Chennai-based housing finance firm NATRUST for Rs 112 cr | News Bharat

Centrum Group’s affordable housing finance arm CHFL has entered into an agreement to acquire the housing finance business of Chennai-based National Trust Housing Finance Limited (NATRUST) for Rs 112 crore.

The agreement, which enables CHFL to acquire the housing finance business along with its loan portfolio, branches and employees, will increase CHFL’s assets under management to over Rs. 1000 crowns. NATRUST offers affordable housing finance at 17 locations across four states in South India and has a loan book of over Rs 300 crore.

CHFL was established in 2017 to offer home loans, loans against property, purchase and construction of plots and home extension loans to customers from low and middle income groups across 10 states in India. The acquisition will help CHFL expand geographic coverage, add sourcing capabilities to drive organic growth.

Commenting on the acquisition, Jaspal Bindra, Executive Chairman, Centrum Group said, “There is a growing demand for affordable housing in India, beyond metros and tier-one cities. Small towns are witnessing increased demand driven by greater urbanization, digitization, better infrastructure and connectivity.”

He added that “Schemes like PMAY have given a strong impetus to affordable housing and we believe that this sector has huge growth potential. NATRUST is a well-respected housing finance company with a high-quality loan portfolio and a competent team. The acquisition strengthens our presence in the southern of India and will help us further increase our penetration in selected geographies.”

Commenting on the sale, GSRajagopal, Chairman, National Trust Housing Finance Limited said, “Since its inception in the mid-1990s, Natrust has been a housing finance company focused on the affordable segment in South India. Natrust has consistently been recognized as a ‘Great Place to Work’ and ranked among the top 30 companies to work for in the BFSI segment. Natrust’s niche focus on southern geographies, along with its exceptional talent, complements Centrum’s focus on other markets very well. We wish the Center all the best in its ambitious plans in housing finance and beyond.”

Over the past few years, CHFL has significantly expanded its branch network, built a strong underwriting group and established new lending relationships with banks and financial institutions. In February 2020, a fund managed by Morgan Stanley PE Asia invested nearly 190 million rupees to acquire a minority stake in CHFL.

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