News Life and Health18 Dec 2018

India:Private equity firm True North in talks to buy Max Bupa stake

18 Dec 2018

Indian private equity firm True North is in talks to buy a majority stake in Max Bupa Health Insurance for INR15bn ($210m).

True North, a mid-market buyout investor, will acquire the entire ownership of Max Group and also a part of Bupa’s holding in the health insurer, reported The Times of India citing people directly aware of the matter.

Analjit Singh-led Max Group is selling its stake as part of a business portfolio reorganisation which would see it focus on the life insurance market through Max Life.

Max Bupa's promoter — Max Group — owns 51% of the company, while Bupa holds 49%, the maximum permissible for foreign investors.

India's health insurance is estimated at around INR380bn in terms of premiums annually.

True North would acquire a majority stake in the health insurer. However, different news organisations carry varying reports that said that the stake would be 51% or 80%, with Bupa retaining 49% or 20% in the respective outcomes.

The domestic insurance industry, especially health insurance, has seen consolidation deals in the past one year. Safecrop Holdings — a consortium of West-Bridge AIF, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala and Madison Capital — bought Star Health & Allied Insurance Company for INR65bn in August. HDFC Ergo was in talks to buy Apollo Munich in another M&A transaction.

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