WYOMISSING, Pa.- Customers Bancorp Inc., the holding company for Customers Bank, has formed a business collaboration with one of India’s leading diversified financial services companies and is applying for a banking license in India, the bank announced on Wednesday.
Customers Bank plans to invest $51 million in the high growth financial institution Religare Enterprises Ltd. The $51 million investment will be spread among the purchase of shares, both directly from Religare and separately from a promoter of the company, and the purchase of warrants.
“We agreed to invest after doing research on investment opportunities in the financial services industry in India with the help of Dinodia Capital Advisors and have negotiated what we believe are very attractive terms and covenants in connection with this investment,” Customers Bank Chairman and CEO Jay Sidhu said. “We feel comfortable with the growth prospects of Religare and its subsidiaries and affiliates and look forward to a long-term relationship with them.”
On Wednesday, the Times of India reported from Mumbai that Sidhu, who the Times described as “an Indian-American banker,” had made a third trip to India “to find a strategic banking partner in which the bank might pick up a minority stake.”
“Most of the big banks that do business with India cater to high-net-worth individuals and multinational companies,” Sidhu said in The Times of India article.” Our focus is on the small and mid-sized businesses and the middle class.”
The extensive banking experience of Customers’ management team will be available to Religare in its banking foray, Sidhu said.
“We are very excited about working with a high quality company like Religare Enterprises,” Sidhu said in the press release from the bank. “We think there are mutually beneficial opportunities for both organizations to explore.”
Wyomissing, Pa.-based Customers Bank moved into the Rhode Island market with the March 29 acquisition of the regional business of Flagstar Bank. Customers Bank has regional headquarters in Providence and a second regional office in Boston.