Star Health gets in principle approval from IRDAI for proposed stake sale

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Private health insurance major Star Health and Allied Insurance Company Ltd has received an in principle approval from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) for the proposed stake sale to a consortium of investors including WestBridge AIF, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala and Madison Capital.

The company will be going through other regulatory approvals before going for the final approval, said a senior management official.

In August, 2018, Star Health has announced that Safecrop Holdings Pvt Ltd, a consortium of investors, including WestBridge AIF, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala and Madison Capital, signed a definitive agreement with the shareholders of the insurance firm to acquire their shares.

"We have got an in principle approval from IRDAI to proceed with the matter," said V Jagannathan, chairman-cum-managing director of Star Health. "The value fixed is Rs 6,500 crore. It has to be a 100 per cent share transfer," he added. 

The shareholders of the company included Sequoia Capital, ICICI Venture and Tata Capital besides global private equity investor Apis. These four, along with Oman Insurance Co, earlier held around 70 per cent shares in Star Health, while the rest was held by ETA Trading, according to reports. 

The new consortium investors have already infused around Rs 350 crore as to start with, about two months back, he said. The company has to maintain the solvency ratio, but according to the management's calculation, capital infusion may not be required for this since it has been making profit for three years including this  year. If any funds required, the company will get it, he averred.

"Once the other regulatory approvals are there, we will submit to the regulator to give us his approval. Subject to his approval, the shares will change hands," Jagannathan added. However, he did not comment on estimates by when the actual share transfer to take place.

This fiscal the company is expected to complete around Rs 5,500 crore business. This will be around 32 per cent growth, compared to Rs 4,160 crore business during the previous year. 

The company is aiming to do business to the tune of around Rs 7,100 crore next financial year. "We have our business plan and we will expand according to it," he added. There are only two sectors which is growing - Motor and Health and the trend is expected to continue good for the Health Insurance sector next financial year also.

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