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Grapevine: Jhunjhunwala, others eye IDBI Federal; IndusInd CEO race heats up
Rakesh Jhunjhunwala | Photo Credit: Reuters

A company controlled by ace stock market investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala’s RARE Equity is among the firms shortlisted to buy a significant stake in IDBI Federal Life Insurance, a media report said.

Citing people aware of the matter, The Economic Times said that HDFC Life Insurance and ICICI Prudential Life Insurance have also been shortlisted.

The bidders have bid for up to 74% stake in IDBI Federal at a valuation ranging from Rs 2,400 crore to Rs 3,000 crore, the report said.

The stake sale in IDBI Federal was shelved about two years due to uncertainty over the ownership of the life insurer’s loss-making parent, IDBI Bank, which owns a 48% stake in the company. Belgian insurer Ageas and Federal Bank hold a 26% stake in the insurer.

In another development, Business Standard cited unidentified sources as saying reported that Tata Capital Ltd managing director and CEO Rajiv Sabharwal has entered the race to succeed Romesh Sobti at IndusInd Bank.

Sumant Kathpalia, head of consumer banking at the Hindujas-promoted bank, is the leading contender, the report said. Sobti’s term as MD and CEO of IndusInd Bank will end on March 23.

However, IndusInd Bank denied that it was considering Sabharwal for the top job. “The speculation around this name [Sabharwal] as a contender for the position… is completely untrue,” it said in a stock-exchange filing.

The bank also said that it had already finalised a potential candidate for the post of MD and CEO and that it had sought the Reserve Bank of India’s approval. “That position remains unchanged.”

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