India’s Bharti Life Ventures has signed a binding agreement to acquire French insurer AXA’s 49% in their joint venture (JV), Bharti AXA Life Insurance Company.

Through this deal, Bharti Life Ventures will obtain complete rights to the JV, which has been jointly run by the parties since 2006.

Bharti Life Ventures currently holds a 51% stake in the JV. 

Bharti AXA has a footprint across the country with more than 250 offices and a claim settlement ratio of 99.10%, with devoted claim managers for policyholders.

Subsequent to the deal execution, Bharti plans to collaborate with various strategic and financial investors to expand the business.

Subject to regulatory approvals, the stake acquisition is expected to conclude by December 2023. 

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Bharti and AXA established two ventures, Bharti AXA Life Insurance and Bharti AXA General Insurance, in 2006 with Bharti holding a 74% stake in each. 

AXA raised its stake from 26% to 49% in these JVs in line with an insurance bill passed by the Indian Parliament in 2015. 

In 2020, ICICI Lombard acquired Bharti AXA General Insurance, marking the exit of Bharti Group and AXA from the general insurance business.

As per the 2020 deal, AXA and Bharti received 35.8 million shares in ICICI Lombard, which at that time was valued at €521m.