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BlackRock to sell minority stake in India joint venture to partner DSP Group

BlackRock (BLK) will sell its 40% minority stake in Mumbai-based joint venture DSP BlackRock Investment Managers to its local partner, DSP Group, according to separate announcements by BlackRock and DSP.

Terms of the deal are not being disclosed, said a spokesman for BlackRock. A DSP spokesman couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

DSP BlackRock Investment Managers had average assets under management of 871.4 billion rupee ($13 billion) in the final quarter of 2017, according to local rating agency ICRA. The money management joint venture's website lists 32 mutual fund "schemes," including equity, fixed income, hybrid and international funds of funds.

BlackRock's exit from the venture comes roughly a decade after the firm bought its 40% stake from Merrill Lynch in the midst of the global financial crisis.

"After nearly a decade or partnership, it is time for the DSP Group and BlackRock to take different paths," said Ryan Stork, Hong Kong-based chairman and head of BlackRock Asia Pacific.

By way of explanation, Mr. Stork cited his firm's reliance on "the full strength of an integrated business model to deliver on behalf of our clients."

Hemendra Kothari, chairman of the DSP Group, said in a separate announcement that after obtaining all necessary regulatory approvals, the DSP Group will become 100% owners of the money manager, to be renamed DSP Investment Managers.

Mr. Stork said BlackRock remains committed to the Indian market for the long term.