Grapevine: ICICI Lombard eyes Bharti AXA; Hinduja Leyland Finance to raise funding
Photo Credit: VCCircle

ICICI Lombard General Insurance Co Ltd – India’s largest private-sector non-life insurer – is in an advanced stage to acquire Bharti AXA General Insurance Co Ltd, Mint reported on Tuesday.

The acquisition – if finalised upon – will see ICICI Lombard merge the assets of both companies, the report said, citing people aware of the developments. 

As per one of the people, ICICI Lombard will acquire both Bharti Enterprises’ 51% stake as well as France-based joint venture partner AXA’s 49% stake in Bharti AXA.

According to VCCEdge, the data research arm of Mosaic Digital, ICICI Lombard reported net sales and profit-after-tax figures of Rs 2,008.53 crore and Rs 1,193.76 crore, respectively, for the financial year ended March 2020. 

ICICI Lombard was set up in 2001 after the Indian insurance industry opened to private players. It was the first Indian company in which Canadian investor Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd had invested.

Meanwhile, Hinduja Leyland Finance Ltd is in talks to raise up to $100 million (Rs 748 crore), Mint reported on Monday. 

The company – which is the captive financing arm of Ashok Leyland – has appointed professional services firm EY as a sell-side adviser to the transaction.

However, talks regarding the investment are still at an early stage, the report said, citing two people aware of the development. 

Any potential investment could see Hinduja Leyland Finance divesting 15-20% stake.

The Chennai-based company was set up in 2008. The firm reported consolidated net sales of Rs 2,711.6 crore for the financial year ended March 2019. It reported profit after tax of Rs 300 crore for the same period.

It provides loans for commercial vehicles, as well as three-wheelers, two-wheelers, tractors, and construction equipment. 

According to the Mint report, it has also been acquiring loan portfolios over the past two years to diversify its product profile and augment its net interest margin.

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