Deal Street

December 09, 2015

Religare divests stake in AEGON Religare Life Insurance Company


The AEGON Religare Life Insurance Company was a leading Indian insurance company with Religare, the AEGON Group and Bennett Coleman and Co. Ltd (BCCL) as its chief shareholders. Religare was the largest shareholder of the insurance company at 44%.

Luthra & Luthra Law Offices advised Religare on its exit from the insurance company through the sale of its entire 44% stake to BCCL, the publisher of the English daily, ‘The Times of India’. Religare said in a regulatory filing that the transaction marking its exit from the life insurance company was closed on 7th December, 2015, after getting the necessary approvals from the Competition Commission of India (CCI), Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) and Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India(IRDA).

The deal was structured in a manner such that simultaneous with the stake sale of 44% in the insurance company by Religare to BCCL, BCCL was required to sell a 23% stake in the joint venture company to AEGON. On 25th September, 2014, Religare had announced its intent to exit the life insurance venture. With this deal, Religare, which had been seeking a way out since 2013, finally exited from the life insurance venture and AEGON is currently the single largest shareholder in the joint venture company at 49%. The total consideration receivable by Religare for the transaction was INR 971.45 crores.

Luthra & Luthra was involved in drafting, negotiating, finalising and executing the share purchase agreement amongst BCCL, Religare and the insurance company and other related transaction documents. The transaction team from the firm comprised Partner Alina Arora, Senior Associate Samarth Gupta and Associate Yashita Sharma. Another of the firm’s Associates, Devangshu Nath assisted the transaction team with the closing in Mumbai.

This deal marked one of the earliest successful increases in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Indian insurance companies, following the change in law which allowed for a higher ceiling in FDI in the Indian insurance sectors.

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