ICICI Lombard to merge Bharti AXA’s non-life insurance biz with self, create 3rd largest player

NEW DELHI: ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company on Saturday said its board has approved a proposal to merge Bharti AXA’s non-life insurance business with itself. The deal would result in the emergence of the third largest non-life insurer in India, ICICI Lombard said.

The merger would result in an entity with a combined annual premium of Rs 16,447 crore and a market share of nearly 8.7 per cent, ICICI Lombard said.

Bharti AXA General Life Insurance’s shareholders will receive two shares of ICICI Lombard for every 115 shares of Bharti AXA held by them, as on the date on which the scheme of arrangement is approved by the board of directors of ICICI Lombard and Bharti AXA, ICICI Lombard said.

At present, Bharti and AXA hold 51 per cent and 49 per cent stake respectively in the joint venture. They will receive a total of 3.58 crore shares in ICICI Lombard, which would amount to 521 million euro, Reuters reported.

The share swap was recommended by independent values and accepted by the respective boards of both the insurance companies.

Calling it a strategic partnership, ICICI Lombard said it is one of the largest private sector non-life insurers in India, while Bharti AXA is a large well-reputed global insurer.

The proposed transaction provides, it said, a meaningful opportunity for ICICI Lombard to consolidate its market leading position in the non-life insurance sector, becoming the third largest non-life insurer.

“Through this proposed transaction, ICICI Lombard shall be able to augment its distribution strength with Bharti AXA’s existing distribution partnerships. The combined entity shall also benefit from continued partnerships with Bharti Enterprises,” it said.

Policyholders, ICICI Lombard said, are expected to gain from an enhanced product suite and deeper customer connect touch points. Employees of the combined business will also benefit via greater opportunities across functions and geographies, the company told BSE.