FAL Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Canadian investor Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Financial Holdings, has sold 4.99 per cent equity stake in ICICI Lombard general insurance for Rs 2,562 crore in a block deal.
This comes after the insurance regulator, earlier this month, relaxed the five-year lock-in rule for Fairfax's stake in ICICI Lombard, which was scheduled to end in March 2021.
Fairfax now owns 4.91 per cent of the general insurer. Watsa has also invested in digital general insurance player Digit General Insurance. In Thursday’s share sale, the buyers included a host of mutual fund (MF) houses, insurance companies, and foreign investors.
These included L&T MF, SBI MF, ICICI Prudential MF, Aditya Birla Sunlife MF, Reliance MF, TATA AIG Life Insurance, Reliance Nippon Life Insurance Company, and Goldman Sachs Investments (Mauritus).
Earlier in September, Red Bloom Investment — part of Warburg Pincus group — had sold 12.3 million equity shares, or 2.7 per cent stake, in ICICI Lombard for Rs 1,378 crore, through open market transactions.
ICICI Lombard, set up in 2001, was a 64:36 joint venture (JV) between ICICI Bank and Fairfax. The latter has reduced its stake in the JV over the years.