Nippon Life to acquire 26% stake in Reliance Life for $680 mn

Nippon Life to acquire 26% stake in Reliance Life for $680 mn

"Nippon Life Insurance will invest an aggregate value of Rs 3,062 crore (USD 680 million) to acquire a 26 per cent strategic stake in Reliance Life Insurance," the Anil Ambani Group firm said in a statement today.

The transaction pegs the total valuation of Reliance Life Insurance at approximately Rs 11,500 crore (USD 2.6 billion), the statement said, adding that the transaction is subject to necessary regulatory approvals.

Nippon is the 6th largest life insurer in the world and the No. 1 private life insurer in Asia and Japan.

Commenting on the development, Reliance Capital Chairman Anil Ambani said, "At this time, our thoughts are with the people of Japan, bravely facing an unprecedented natural catastrophe. We pray for strength to the country, its people and our new partners in the entire Nippon Life family, to overcome the trauma of the tragic loss of life and devastation caused by this calamity."

Reliance Capital currently holds a 100 per cent stake in Reliance Life.
"We both share the same passion and philosophy and, together, we believe we can develop a strategic partnership to help Reliance Life Insurance become a world-class insurance company in India," said Nippon Life Insurance President Kunie Okamoto.
Shares of Reliance Capital were up 5.46 per cent at Rs 538.75 on the BSE at 1116 hours.

As per the current rules, a foreign entity can hold up to a 26 per cent stake in an Indian insurance firm. Reliance Capital wholly owns Reliance Life, a business it acquired from AMP Sanmar in 2005.

Reliance Life is the largest insurer amongst the 22 private life insurers in India in terms of the number of individual policies sold.

The company has sold over 7 million policies through its network of nearly 1,250 offices and over 2,15,000 advisors. Reliance Life managed assets of over Rs 17,000 crore (USD 3.7 billion) as of December 31, 2010.

Commenting on the deal, Reliance Capital CEO Sam Ghosh said, "As a strategic partner, Nippon Life will bring vast experience, expertise and global best practices in areas of product development, underwriting, investment management, distribution, customer relationship management and risk management."

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