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January 16, 2019

IAG mulling to offload stake in Indian JV SBI General Insurance

Insurance Australia Group (IAG) is reportedly planning to divest part of its stake in SBI General Insurance, a joint venture it formed with State Bank of India (SBI).

Currently, IAG owns a 26% in the JV which it founded in 2009.

Sources familiar with development told that the insurer has started discussions with an investment bank to manage the sale process.

The Australian insurer is expected to offload its stake in multiple tranches. It will sell a part of its stake before a proposed initial share sale of the local general insurer and a part in the IPO, the sourced told the publication.

SBI sold its stake in SBI General Insurance to Axis Asset Management and Premji Invest for INR4.82bn ($67.75m) in September last year.

The transaction valued the general insurance JV at INR120bn ($1.686bn). Following sale, SBI’s stake in the JV decreased to 70%.

SBI General Insurance provides a number of insurance products such motor, health, personal accident, travel and home insurance in the retail space. It also offers products including aviation, fire, marine, package, construction & engineering and liability insurance in the commercial space.

Private equity firm Carlyle Group and Singapore-based sovereign wealth fund GIC are set to purchase a 10% stake in India’s SBI Life Insurance from BNP Paribas Cardif for INR52bn ($740m).

The sale of the proposed stake is part of the French insurer’s plan to cut down stake in the 17-year-old joint venture (JV) with State Bank of India (SBI) to comply with regulatory requirements for an initial public offering (IPO), The Economic Times has reported.

Carlyle and GIC are expected to acquire the stake at INR510 ($7.25) – INR520 (7.39) per share that will make the deal second-largest in the insurance sector this year.

Both parties are waiting for the approval of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) to go ahead with the transaction.

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