UK-based Bupa to hike stake in Indian health insurance JV Max Bupa to 49%

UK-based health insurance company Bupa proposes to increase its stake in Indian joint venture Max Bupa to 49 per cent for an undisclosed amount. The deal is subject to regulatory approvals.

It did not say if Bupa plans to invest afresh to hike its stake or buy the additional stake from Max.

Private health insurer Max Bupa is a 74:26 joint venture between Max India and UK's Bupa.

After the Insurance Laws Amendment Ordinance 2014 was passed last month, foreign investment ceiling was increased to 49 per cent in the insurance sector. This marks the first formal statement post the ordinance where the foreign partner has said it is raising its holding.

"This decision underlines Bupa's commitment to the Indian health insurance market and represents a major milestone in the development of Max Bupa. With our partners Max India, we are committed to supporting Max Bupa’s growth and helping Indian consumers live healthier and more successful lives," said David Fletcher, MD at International Development Markets, Bupa.

Launched in 2010, Max Bupa, which is the seventh-largest private health insurer in India, has a customer base of two million across India.

“Max Bupa has established its brand, developed a wide retail customer base and grown its share in the attractive health insurance market. As Max Bupa prepares itself for its next wave of growth, it will stand to benefit from Bupa’s expertise in areas such as under-writing health risks and product innovation. Bupa's intention to increase its stake is testimony to the huge opportunity for health insurance in India and Max India's reputation in successfully managing joint ventures," said Rahul Khosla, MD, Max India Ltd.

Max India Group is a diversified Indian firm. Founder Analjit Singh holds 40.5 per cent stake in the company which counts Goldman Sachs, Temasek, IFC among its other shareholders.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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