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Sun Life to buy 23% more of Birla Sun Life

Its current stake in the JV is 26%; Birla Sun Life is valued at Rs 7,235 cr

BS Reporter  |  Mumbai 

The logo of Sun Life Financial is seen in Toronto
The logo of Sun Life Financial is seen in Toronto

Sun Life will invest Rs 1,664 crore to increase its stake in Birla Sun Life Insurance (BSLI) from 26 per cent to 49 per cent. BSLI, a joint venture between Aditya Birla Nuvo (74 per cent) and Sun Life Financial (26 per cent), has been valued at Rs 7,235 crore.

Aditya Birla Nuvo, a part of Aditya Birla Group, said in a statement on Wednesday the 23 per cent stake purchase would be subject to approvals from relevant authorities.

The Insurance Laws (Amendment) Act passed in February 2015 allows foreign partners to increase their stake in Indian insurance firms from 26 per cent to 49 per cent.

Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman of Aditya Birla Nuvo and Birla Sun Life Insurance, said: “Financial services is one of our fastest growing businesses and is among our core businesses. I am confident this move will only strengthen our long-standing partnership and help us realise our vision of being a top-three private life insurer in India.”

Aditya Birla Nuvo has entered into an agreement with the Canadian insurance major Sun Life to sell approximately 437 million equity shares constituting 23 per cent of the issued and paid-up equity share capital of the life insurance company. On completion of the transaction, Sun Life’s stake in BSLI will increase from 26 per cent to 49 per cent, while Aditya Birla Nuvo will continue to hold the controlling stake of 51 per cent.

Sun Life to buy 23% more of Birla Sun Life
Dean Connor, president and CEO, Sun Life Financial, said: “Increasing our ownership position in BSLI, one of India’s leading private life insurers, in partnership with a well respected partner in Aditya Birla Group, in the world’s second most populous country with strong growth prospects, is a strategy that supports our aspirations for Sun Life Asia as one of the four pillars of growth.”

Birla Sun Life had a new business premium market share of 7.9 per cent for the half-year ended September 30, 2015. It posted profit after tax of Rs 40.09 crore for the quarter ended September 30, 2015, compared to a profit after tax of Rs 97.34 crore in the same quarter in the previous financial year, according to its public disclosures.

Data from Life Insurance Council showed BSLI had collected new premiums of Rs 1,076.61 crore for the April 1-October 31 period of FY16, compared to Rs 825.65 crore collected in the year-ago period. Ajay Srinivasan, chief executive (financial services) at Aditya Birla Group, said it has a long-standing relationship with Sun Life Financial for two key businesses - life insurance and asset management. “We are happy to now further strengthen this mutually beneficial relationship,” he added.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of FY16, subject to the customary closing conditions and the requisite statutory and regulatory approvals in India and Canada. Approval from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board, Competition Commission of India and Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India.

First Published: Thu, December 03 2015. 00:58 IST