ICICI Bank trims stake in ICICI Lombard General Insurance
Photo Credit: VCCircle

ICICI Bank has sold a 3.96% stake in ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company Ltd for Rs 2,250 crore ($295 million), as the private-sector lender looks to strengthen its balance sheet.

The bank now owns a 51.9% stake in the insurer, it said in a stock-exchange filing on Friday. It didn’t specify who the buyers were.

The bank sold the shares at an average price of Rs 1,250 apiece. Shares of ICICI Lombard were trading 0.6% down at Rs 1,268.95 apiece in late afternoon trade on Friday.

The insurer’s shares have touched a high of Rs 1,439.90 and a low of Rs 805.60 over the past 52 weeks.

ICICI Lombard was set up in 2001 after the Indian insurance industry opened up to private players. It started as a joint venture between India’s second-largest private-sector lender and India-born Canadian billionaire Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd.

Fairfax first sold part of its stake in the insurer in 2017. It divested more stake thereafter and fully exited in October last year, clocking modest returns overall on its 18-year investment.

In June last year, private equity investor Warburg Pincus had walked away with a bountiful harvest after selling more stake in ICICI Lombard, marking what was an unusually quick churn from a portfolio company.

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