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Max Financial scraps plan to raise funds from TPG, KKR Capital

Billionaire Analjit Singh-led Max Financial Services Ltd has dropped a plan to mop up funds from private equity investor TPG Global LLC and two other firms after its insurance unit abandoned its pursuit of a local rival.

"As Max Life has decided not to pursue the current acquisition opportunity, the company is no longer considering any of the fundraising proposals" announced in April, Max Financial said in a stock-exchange filing late on Friday.

Max Life Insurance Company Ltd was in the race to acquire IDBI Federal Life Insurance and was competing with Birla Sun Life Insurance Company, part of billionaire Kumar Mangalam Birla's diversified Aditya Birla Group.

However, Singh told television channel CNBC-TV18 on Friday that bidding for IDBI Federal Life was "not making any sense" in the absense of prerequisites such as performance guarantees he had asked for.

Max Financial had, in April, said its board approved a plan to raise funds from TPG, KKR Capital Markets India Pvt. Ltd and Standard Chartered Bank to help unit Max Life pursue an acquisition opportunity.

The company had not specified the amount it had planned to mobilise and whether it would raise equity funding or debt. But it had said the amount would be within the limits approved by the board earlier and would be finalised once the acquisition opportunity materialised.

TPG Global generally provides equity financing while Standard Chartered Bank and KKR Capital may arrange or provide debt financing.

Max Financial had, on 21 March, told stock exchanges that its board approved a plan to borrow Rs 5,000 crore to finance acquisition opportunities by the insurance unit.

Max Life had been trying to engineer M&As for more than a year. Last year, the Max group scrapped a planned merger of Max Life with HDFC Life Insurance Company Ltd because of regulatory hurdles.

In September last year, Max Life was reported to be in exploratory talks with diversified conglomerate Aditya Birla Group to merge their life insurance businesses. Singh was also said to be in talks with UK-based Northern Trust and private equity firm Apax Partners to sell his 30% stake in Max Financial.

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