ICICI Lombard gets SEBI approval for Rs. 6,000 cr IPO:

ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company has got capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)’s go-ahead for its estimated Rs. 6,000 crore initial public offer, which could be the first by a general insurer in the country.

Two state-run general insurers — General Insurance Corp of India and New India Assurance Company — as also two life insurance firms (SBI Life and HDFC Standard Life) have also lined up IPO plans and are awaiting SEBI’s go-ahead for their respective draft papers.

Among these, SEBI is awaiting “clarification” from insurance regulator IRDAI with regard to IPOs by HDFC Standard Life, New India Assurance and General Insurance, as per the latest update available with SEBI on these IPOs. In case of SBI Life, the market regulator received the required details from IRDAI on August 28 and the case is currently “under process” at SEBI’s end.

SEBI issued its “observations” — a technical jargon for the regulator’s go-ahead for public issues — on the public offer by ICICI Lombard General Insurance on September 1. The company had filed its draft prospectus with SEBI on July 14 for the public issue which would comprise Offer For Sale of shares by existing shareholders, accounting for 19 per cent stake.

ICICI Lombard is a joint venture between ICICI Bank and Canada-based Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. The IPO involves dilution of up to 86,247,187 equity shares of face value of Rs. 10 each of ICICI Lombard General Insurance. According to market sources, the IPO could be worth about Rs. 6,000 crore.

SEBI had sought clarification from IRDAI regarding General Insurance Corp (GIC) on August 21 and about New India Assurance Co Ltd on August 16. Some ‘clarification’ was sought from IRDAI regarding HDFC Standard Life on August 23.

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