Indian insurers ICICI Lombard, Bharti AXA to merge

Deal to create market's third-largest general insurer

Indian insurers ICICI Lombard, Bharti AXA to merge

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

ICICI Lombard General Insurance and Bharti AXA General Insurance have agreed to merge their operations, creating India’s third-largest general insurer.

The deal, which will see ICICI Lombard acquire Bharti AXA through a share swap deal, will create an entity with a combined annual premium of INR164.47 billion (US$2.2 billion), and a market share of around 8.7%, The Economic Times reported. The boards of both parties have agreed to the terms of the transaction.

Indian conglomerate Bharti Enterprises holds 51% of Bharti AXA, while the remaining 49% is with French multinational insurer AXA. According to a report by Reuters, the two companies will receive a total of 35.8 million shares in ICICI Lombard, approximately worth US$617 million. Bharti and AXA also have a life insurance joint venture.

“Through this proposed transaction, ICICI Lombard shall be able to augment its distribution strength with Bharti AXA’s existing distribution partnerships,” ICICI Lombard said in a statement.“The combined entity shall also benefit from continued partnerships with Bharti Enterprises, one of India’s leading business groups with diversified interests, and AXA, a well-reputed global insurer.”

The transaction is pending approval of the following regulators: Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India, Competition Commission of India, Securities and Exchange Board of India, Reserve Bank of India, and the National Company Law Tribunal.

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