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Manipal Group picks up stake in Cigna TTK to enter insurance sector
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Manipal Group, which operates hospitals and educational institutions, is entering the insurance sector by picking up a stake in Cigna TTK Health Insurance Co. Ltd.

Manipal and TTK Group will jointly hold a 51% stake in the insurance company while US-based global healthcare services provider Cigna Corporation will retain 49%, Cigna TTK said in a statement. It didn't disclose financial details of the transaction.

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDA) has given its approval for the transaction, it added.

Cigna TTK Health Insurance launched its operations in February 2014 as a joint venture between Cigna Corp and Indian conglomerate TTK Group. 

"The combination of Cigna‘s global expertise in health and wellness, its ability to offer customized solutions for the Indian market, and Manipal Group’s integrated healthcare expertise with multi-specialty hospital networks will create a true differentiation for healthcare in India," said Ranjan Pai, chairman, Manipal Education & Medical Group.

The transaction gives Manipal, which earlier this year lost out to Malaysia's IHH Healthcare to buy hospital chain Fortis Healthcare Ltd, an entry into the booming insurance sector.

The sector is likely to get a push after the government announced the launch of a national healthcare scheme, Ayushman Bharat, which seeks to provide a Rs 5 lakh insurance cover to 10.7 crore families, or more than 50 crore individuals. This makes it the world’s largest state-sponsored health insurance scheme.

Mumbai-based Cigna TTK has 19 branch offices, more than 17,000 agents, 250 major brokers and over 8,000 point-of-sale locations across the country. It also has tie-ups with 13 banks and non-banking financial companies to distribute health insurance products.

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