New York Life picks up 2% stake in Max Financial Services for Rs 2.15 bn

Max Financial Services

US-based New York Life on Thursday picked up around 2 per cent stake in Max Financial Services (MFS) for about Rs 2.15 billion, signalling its renewed interest in the life insurance business of its former partner in India.

According to bulk deal data available with the NSE, New York Life acquired 49,99,130 shares, or about 2 per cent stake, of MFS from Max Ventures Investment Holdings, a promoter group holding company, at Rs 429.50 per share.

After the transaction, the promoter holding in MFS has come down to 28.42 per cent from 30.29 per cent earlier.

Max Financial Services is the holding company of Max Life, a non-bank, private life insurance firm.

Over the past couple of days, New York Life had also acquired shares of MFS from the open market.

The development comes six years after New York Life exited from Max New York Life, a joint venture it had formed in 2001 with Analjit Singh-led Max Group.

In 2012, the US insurance major sold its 26 per cent stake in the JV to Japan's Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance and Max India. The move followed New York Life's then decision to pare back its international footprint, including China and Thailand.

According to a source, "The latest development is a sign of revival of New York Life's interest in the life insurance business of its erstwhile partner."

In January last year, New York Life Insurance had picked up 22.51 per cent stake for Rs 1.21 billion in Max Ventures and Industries, the holding company of Max Speciality Films which is into speciality packaging films business.

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