ICICI Lombard eyes Bharti AXA General Insurance in Rs 2,800-crore deal

has initiated talks to acquire backed General Insurance in all stock transaction, according to sources.

currently owns 51 per cent stake in General Insu­rance, while French insurer AXA has 49 per cent. Accor­ding to the sources, the valuation of Bharti-AXA has be­en pegged around Rs 2,800 crore. E-mail sent to General Insurance, and ICICI Lombard did not elicit an immediate response.

Bharti Enterprises has been trying for a long time to exit its financial services business. In 2016, Bharti Enterprises’ talks with Reliance Industries to sell its 74 per cent stake in Bharti AXA Life Insurance and Bharti AXA General Insurance could not reach the logical conclusion.

The proposed merger would require various regulatory approvals, including from Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai). For the fiscal year ended March 2020, Bharti AXA General Insu­rance reported a 38 per cent incr­ease in its gross premium collection to Rs 3,157 crore as aga­inst Rs 2,285 crore in 2018-19.

Crop insurance grew by 59 per cent to Rs 828 crore in the last financial year from Rs 519 crore in 2018-19. The company also bagged a Rs 800-crore crop insurance mandate from few state governments under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY).

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