At present, BCCL owns a 28% stake in the joint venture. The remaining stake is owned by foreign shareholder Aegon India Holdings (26%) and Aegon Religare Employee Benefit Trust holding (2%).
The latest move will raise BCCL’s stake in the firm to 72%. BCCL was a stakeholder in the life insurer since its inception in 2008, and initially owned a 30% stake in the firm.
The 44% stake owned by Religare Enterprises could reportedly be valued between nearly INR10bn to INR12bn.
The deal is subject to regulatory approval from the Foreign Investment and Promotion Board, Foreign Investment and Promotion Board, and the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India.
Additionally, Aegon has expressed interest to increase its stake from 26% to 49%, the maximum permissible under the new insurance law. The decision is pending Foreign Investment and Promotion Board approval.
The completion of the deal will mark the exit of Religare from the life insurance business in India. If approved, it will be the first time a media company has become the majority owner in an Indian life insurance firm.
Religare had announced plans to exit the joint venture on September of last year, and Religare and Aegon agreed that Religare would exit once a replacement shareholder was identified and approved by regulators.