ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Co Ltd has filed draft papers for an initial public offering, parent ICICI Bank said on Monday, in what would be the first IPO by an insurance company in India.

The draft red herring prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Board of India is for a public offering of about 181.34 million shares, ICICI Bank said in a stock-exchange filing. This represents about 12.65% of the insurer's equity share capital, it added.

ICICI Bank, India's biggest private-sector bank, owns a stake of 68% in the insurer while the UK-based Prudential Plc holds almost 26%. Prudential isn’t selling its stake in the IPO.

The insurer is also backed by Singapore state investment arm Temasek, which acquired a 2% stake late last year in a deal that valued the company at Rs 32,500 crore. This transaction also included PremjiInvest, the private investment arm of Wipro chief Azim Premji, buying a 4% stake in ICICI Prudential.

ICICI Prudential is one of India’s top three private-sector life insurance companies. SBI Life, a joint venture of State Bank of India and BNP Paribas, and HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company Ltd, a joint venture of Indian mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corp. and the UK-based Standard Life Plc, are the other top private-sector life insurers.

India’s crowded life insurance industry has 24 companies and the sector is dominated by state-run Life Insurance Corporation.

HDFC had in April stated its intent to take its life insurance unit public by selling a 10% stake through an IPO. But it said on 17 June that HDFC Standard Life and Max Life Insurance Company Ltd had agreed to discuss a possible merger, in what would create the biggest private-sector life insurer in India.

ICICI Prudential Life began operations in 2001. It had assets under management of Rs 103,939 crore as on 31 March 2016 and earned gross premium income of Rs 19,164 crore in 2015-16. Its profit after tax was Rs 1,653 crore in 2015-16.

The firm has hired 10 bankers to manage the share sale. Bank of America Merrill Lynch and ICICI Securities are the lead bankers. Other bankers include Deustche Bank, HSBC Securities, UBS Securities, JM Financial, IIFL Holding, CLSA, Edelweiss and SBI Capital Markets.

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