US venture capital giant Sequoia Capital is in talks with unlisted Indian health insurer Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. to pay about $54 million for a 20 percent stake, two sources with direct knowledge of the deal told Reuters.

"The deal is likely to be signed in a couple of weeks," said one of the sources.

Sequoia will invest 2.5 billion rupees ($54.36 milllion) in the company, said sources who did not wish to be named as they were not authorised to speak to the media.

Star Health and Allied Insurance is a joint venture between Oman insurer ETA Ascon Group and a group of insurance industry veterans from India.

The company recently raised 1.2 billion rupees from ICICI Venture, the private equity arm of No. 2 Indian lender ICICI Bank.

Star Health is India's first stand-alone health insurer and started its operations in 2006.

E-mails seeking comments from Sequoia and Star Health were not answered.

Domestic investment banking firm Mape Advisory Group is representing the insurer, sources said.

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