In the UK, Standard Life is perhaps more well-known for pensions and savings than it is for insurance – but now the Edinburgh-based firm may be on the cusp of becoming the largest private insurer in, of all places, India.
That’s because Reuters
is reporting that the firm’s insurance outfit in the country, which is a minority joint venture with HDFC Bank, is in exploratory merger talks with Max Financial Services and Max Life Insurance.
A report in The International Business Times
confirms the talks as taking place with Standard Life quoted as stating: “We note that HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company, Max Life Insurance Company and Max Financial Services have entered into a confidential, exclusive and standstill agreement to evaluate a possible merger between those parties.
“Any deal would be subject to board, shareholder, regulatory and court approvals. There is no certainty a deal will take place.”
Currently, HDFC holds 72.37 per cent of equity in the joint venture with Standard Life owning 26 per cent. HDFC Standard Life has 400 branches across close to 1,000 Indian cities with around £7.7 billion in assets under management as of its last filing.
Should the merger go through, the deal would create the largest private insurance company in India – with combined business volumes surpassing ICICI Prudential
, the current market leader.
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