Warburg Pincus buys Legal & General's 26% stake in IndiaFirst Life

Warburg Pincus
Warburg Pincus will pick up a 26 per cent stake in IndiaFirst Life insurance company as the UK-based financial and investment company Legal & General exits the life insurance company.  While the stake sale is subject to approval by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India, the deal, pegged at Rs 7.1 billion, was approved by IndiaFirst Life’s board on Thursday. IndiaFirst Life Insurance company was founded in 2011 by Bank of Baroda, Andhra Bank and Legal & General.

R.M. Vishakha, managing director and CEO, IndiaFirst Life, said, “Legal and General has been an extremely supportive partner and an integral part of our journey till now. As we enter a new phase of growth, we welcome Warburg Pincus as a shareholder to support and drive focus towards value creation. We are truly fortunate that both our shareholding banks demonstrate confidence and provide unstinting support towards our growth. We look forward to scaling new heights and creating immense value under the combined guidance of our shareholders.”

While Legal & General held a 26 per cent stake in the life insurer, Bank of Baroda and Andhra Bank hold 44 per cent and 33 per cent of the shareholding, respectively. 

The company has products ranging from term and savings plans to microinsurance, unit-linked insurance plans to products specifically catered for investment in education as well as retirement needs.

For the year ending March 31, 2018, the company made Rs 512 million net profit against Rs 322 billion at the end of FY2018. It collected around Rs 23 billion premium revenue during FY2018 and released around Rs 11 billion in benefits paid to claimants during the same period. 

Mr A.K. Rath, executive director, Andhra Bank said, “We acknowledge the role played by Legal & General in the formative years of IndiaFirst Life. We will continue to extend our support to the management team and welcome Warburg Pincus on board, to take IndiaFirst Life to the next stage of growth.”

In FY2018, on an individual premium earnings basis, the company grew at a rate of 43 per cent, and has issued over 184,000 policies in FY2018, compared with 126,000 policies in the previous fiscal year.

P.S. Jayakumar, chairman, IndiaFirst Life and MD and CEO, Bank of Baroda, said, “Legal & General has been a steady and supportive partner and we regret its decision to exit in wake of the larger strategy of the group. We wish them the best. We take this opportunity to welcome Warburg Pincus to partner with us in these exciting times. We augment our collective strengths to enable the management team at IndiaFirst Life to achieve its ambitions and drive value creation.”