HDFC Life open to buy small, big players

HDFC Life open to buy small, big players

HDFC Standard Life Insurance on Thursday said it is open to any kind of acquisition, including of Max Life if the "structural issues" that hampered its earlier deal are resolved.

"That problem was more to do with the structural issue and obviously Max has to solve that. So if they can solve their problem, which is not easy, and they are ready for this (merger) sometime in future, then we will look at it," HDFC Life Managing Director and CEO Amitabh Chaudhry said at a roadshow here for the insurer's upcoming IPO next week.

HDFC Standard Life Insurance's IPO will hit the capital market next week, fetching promoters about Rs 8,700 crore.

The IPO that opens on November 7, has a price band of Rs 275-290 per equity share, in which promoters HDFC Ltd and Standard Life will dilute 9.52%, and 5.4% respectively in their JV HDFC Life.

Currently, HDFC owns 61.21% stake in the joint venture, which will come down to 51.69%, while Standard Life's 34.75% shareholding will come down to 29.35% post the IPO.

"We believe that this IPO does a number of things for us, one of which is obviously it gives us the currency to go and seek for acquisitions for the future, as there are as many as 24 players in the industry," Chaudhry said.

On the pricing band of the IPO, Chaudhry said it leaves an ample room at the hands of retail investors. He said the brand value of HDFC has created a lot of demand among investors for HDFC Life's IPO.

On mergers, Chaudhry said that the company is open to any kind of transaction that comes along its way including the Max Life if the structural issues are resolved.

He said the company will look at an acquisition that makes sense be it a small player or big.

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