Indian conglomerate to exit health insurance venture

Government-sponsored health cover program could be behind divestment

Indian conglomerate to exit health insurance venture

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

Max India Ltd is poised to sell its 51% stake in Max Bupa Health Insurance Co, with private equity firm True North Managers LLP emerging as the likely buyer.

With the sale, Max India will be exiting the health insurance business after 10 years, reported Livemint, citing two sources with direct knowledge of the matter. This will likely be the first exit by an Indian promoter from the domestic health insurance industry.

“The new joint venture will have True North as the majority partner, while British partner Bupa will continue to hold 49% in Max Bupa,” said one of the sources. “True North will buy Max India’s 51% stake in Max Bupa at around [US$139.8 million].”

Meanwhile, the second source said that the involved parties have already agreed on the deal, and an official announcement is coming soon.

In the past year, consolidation activity in India’s health insurance industry has increased. Some ongoing transactions include Star Health and Allied Insurance’s planned purchase by private equity firms WestBridge Capital and Madison Capital and billionaire investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala. HDFC Ergo, meanwhile, is in advanced talks to acquire Apollo Munich Health Insurance Co., which is a joint venture between Apollo Hospitals and Munich Re.

The Indian government’s introduction of a national health cover scheme is also causing worry among health insurers, the report said, and could be one of the reasons behind Max India’s exit

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