Axis Bank looks to strengthen position in insurance sector

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In a bid to further consolidate its position in the insurance sector, private sector lender Axis Bank has entered into definitive agreements with Fettle Tone and its other partnersto acquire a 9.9 per cent stake for about ₹90.8 crore. A special purpose vehicle set up by True North Fund VI, […]

In a bid to further consolidate its position in the insurance sector, private sector lender Axis Bank has entered into definitive agreements with Fettle Tone and its other partnersto acquire a 9.9 per cent stake for about ₹90.8 crore.

A special purpose vehicle set up by True North Fund VI, Fettle Tone is a promoter of Max Bupa Health Insurance.

“Axis Bank has entered into definitive agreements with Fettle Tone and the other partners of Fettle Tone on March 13in connection with Axis Bank’s proposed acquisition of 9.90 per cent of the aggregate partnership interest of Fettle Tone, pursuant to a contribution by Axis Bank Limited in Fettle Tone’s partnership capital,” it said in a regulatory filing.

Fettle Tone is currently a promoter of Max Bupa Health Insurance Company, and holds about 55.6 per cent of the total share capital of MBHI, it further said

Max Bupa is a standalone health insurance company registered with the IRDAI.

The acquisition is proposed to be completed on or before March 17, 2021, it further said. The object and effect of the acquisition is to “strengthen Axis Bank’s position in the insurance sector, pursuant to its investment in Fettle Tone LLP”.

The announcement comes soon after Axis Bank and its subsidiaries, Axis Capital and Axis Securities (Axis entities), received approval from the IRDAI to acquire up to 12 per cent stake in Max Life Insurance company. They also have the right to acquire an additional stake of up to seven per cent in Max Life in one or more tranches.

Max Bupa Health Insurance is a joint venture between private equity firm True North and UK-based healthcare services expert, Bupa. Previously, till December 15, 2019, it was a JV of two promoter entities – Max India Limited and Bupa Singapore Holdings.

With effect from December 16, 2019, Max India Limited exited the Max Bupa JV and its shares were transferred to Fettle Tone.

According to IRDAI data on non-life insurers, Max Bupa had a market share of 0.83 per cent up to February-end. Gross direct premium underwritten by the health insurer stood at ₹1,497.03 crore between April and February this fiscal.

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