ICICI Lombard OK withinvestor backing rival co:

ICICI Lombard is beefing up its digital platform to consolidate its position as the country’s largest private non-life insurer even as partner Fairfax Financial Holdings prepares to pick up 49% stake in a rival non-life startup Digit. However, the private insurer does not see any conflict in Fairfax being the biggest shareholder by retaining close to 10% stake in ICICI Lombard.

Speaking to TOI, ICICI Lombard MD & CEO Bhargav Dasgupta said that the settlement with Fairfax has been amicable. “They are extremely bullish on general insurance — their core business — and they are very bullish on India. Fairfax was very keen to hold 49% in their India business,” Dasgupta said.

However, this was not possible as ICICI Bank‘s stated objective was to list its insurance subsidiaries. “Since they had to obviously dilute because of the IPO, it made sense for them to invest in a business where they could hold 49%,” he added.

 ICICI Lombard has been the first general insurer to file for an IPO through which Fairfax and ICICI Bank are diluting their shareholding by 12% and 7% respectively. “The company has 8.5% share of the Rs 1.28-lakh-crore non-life industry and has been growing at a compounded annual rate of 26.7% from FY15 to FY17” said Dasgupta. The non-life venture is valued by analysts at around Rs 30,000 crore. Going by current valuations the IPO is likely to raise Rs 5,700 crore.
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