Impact investor Gray Matters Capital (GMC) will sell its entire 81.92% stake in New Delhi-based non-banking financial company (NBFC) Indian School Finance Company (ISFC) to Manappuram Finance Ltd, a gold finance NBFC. The transaction values ISFC at Rs 248.50 crore. Caspian, another impact focussed investor, which has advised ISFC since its inception, will also exit the company, selling its 3.48% stake.
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.
GMC is an Atlanta-based impact investor with a mission to support what it calls “an education leading to a more purposeful life for 100 million women by 2036”. In India, it invests in for-profit education ventures with a focus on access to affordable quality education and on employability leading to a future job ready workforce.
Incubated in 2009 by GMC, ISFC is the first company in the world to exclusively fund education institutions to meet their infrastructure requirements and the first niche financier to affordable private schools (APS) in India. It had raised $6 million as part of Series A funding from GMC in October 2016.
ISFC is engaged in the business of lending to educational institutions and entrepreneurs managing such institutions. ISFC had assets under management of Rs 522.59 crore as of March 31, 2018. It serves over 2.6 million students through more than 4,000 institutional clients.
“ISFC was able to demonstrate that affordable private schools can be a bankable and high impact asset class. With affordable private schools flourishing, the entire ecosystem of products and services to improve education outcomes has evolved. The expectation is that all of these initiatives will enable inter-generational impact.” said Ravi Narasimham, investment director at Caspian Impact Investment Adviser.
Besides educational institutional loans for infrastructure, ISFC’s loan portfolio has been diversified to loans for ecosystem players in education (book publishers, content companies, computer providers, stationery vendors, furniture providers, uniform providers, etc.) and student education loans under the Shishya Finance scheme.
“With our investment in ISFC, we enabled a dynamic ecosystem of borrowers and lenders in the private school sector with its focus on quality and access, underscoring our credence of being ecosystem investors,” said Ragini Bajaj Chaudhary, India chief executive, GMC.
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP acted as exclusive financial advisor, and Wadia Ghandy & Co. acted as legal advisor to GMC, Caspian and ISFC.
Manappuram Finance’s stock price was up 1.42% at Rs 99.80 on the BSE during the mid-day trade on Tuesday.