News eDaily14 Jun 2017

India:Fairfax Financial takes 45% stake in general insurance startup

14 Jun 2017

Canada-based Fairfax Financial Holdings is promoting a tech-driven startup general insurer called Digit.

The venture is in partnership with Kamesh Goyal, a former Allianz executive who led the German insurer's business in India, reported The Times of India.

The new Bengaluru-headquartered company's team comprises insurance and e-commerce executives.

The company, which has already received preliminary approvals from the IRDAI will start with a paid-up capital of INR385 crore (US$60 million). Fairfax Financial will control 45% of the firm while the balance will be held by Indian investors led by Mr Goyal, who will be chairman of the company.

The plan is to launch the new insurer within the next six to 12 weeks, subject to final approvals from the IRDAI.

Last month, Fairfax Financial announced that it would to sell a 12.2% stake in its Indian insurance joint venture ICICI Lombard in a deal that will value the company at INR203 billion. After the sale, India's ICICI Bank Ltd will own about 63.3% of the insurer, while Fairfax's stake will be reduced to about 22.1%.

In January, sources familiar with the matter said that Fairfax Financial was looking to sell a 25% stake in ICICI Lombard as it would set up a new general insurance joint venture in India.


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