The Mysterious Indian-Origin Tycoon Behind $1.2 Billion Bid To Save Yes Bank


Erwin Singh Braich, the mysterious tycoon behind a $1.2 billion bid to rescue a beleaguered Indian bank, says he is Canada’s richest man with a story so fabulous that Netflix Inc. wants to tell it.

There’s a less glittering account pieced together from interviews and court records: The son of a lumber baron has a history including bankruptcy, lawsuits and soured business deals. He has no headquarters, no banker to manage his money, and is currently living in a three-star motel in the Canadian prairies.

The board of Yes Bank Ltd. will decide on Tuesday which version of Mr Braich it supports at a meeting to approve a $2 billion preferential share sale, 60 per cent of which would be taken up by Mr Braich and his partner, Hong Kong-based SPGP Holdings. As Bloomberg News reported Monday, India’s fourth-largest private lender is likely to reject the offer from Mr Braich and SPGP, opting instead for institutional investors, according to a person familiar with the matter.

At stake is the future of the Mumbai-based bank that’s staggering under the weight of its bad loans, including to some of the non-bank lenders caught up in India’s shadow banking crisis. Yes Bank desperately needs the cash injection to replenish its core equity capital, which is barely above the regulatory minimum of 8 per cent. The stock has plunged 69 per cent this year, reducing its market value to Rs 14,300 crore ($2 billion).