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India's HDFC Life revives IPO plan as Max Life deal struggles
July 17, 2017 / 6:13 PM / in 3 months

India's HDFC Life revives IPO plan as Max Life deal struggles

MUMBAI (Reuters) - India’s HDFC Standard Life Insurance Co Ltd said on Monday it had revived a planned initial public offering, as it struggles to get regulatory approval to buy smaller rival Max Life.

Indian mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corp Ltd (HDFC.NS) and its joint venture partner Britain’s Standard Life Plc SL.L plan to sale a combined maximum of 20 percent in HDFC Life, according to a regulatory filing.

HDFC Life agreed in August to take over smaller rival Max Life Insurance in an all-stock deal that would have created the nation’s top private life insurer.

As part of the deal, Max Life was to be merged into its listed parent Max Financial Services (MAXI.NS), which in turn would have combined its life insurance business with HDFC Life.

The deal, however, did not win approval from India’s insurance regulator. Both sides have previously said they remain committed to the deal and were evaluating various options.

On Monday, HDFC Life said if the parties are able to obtain approval from the regulator, the company and its main shareholders would be willing to re-evaluate a deal with Max Life in “due course”.

“At the present time, no (deal) structure prior to an IPO of HDFC Life has been identified which satisfies shareholders’ requirements,” it said.

Standard Life also confirmed the HDFC statement.

IFR, a Thomson Reuters publication, earlier on Monday reported that HDFC Life has short-listed Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley, Nomura and Haitong Securities for managing its planned IPO, with more banks set to be added this week.

Before it agreed to the Max Life deal, HDFC Life had planned to go public via an IPO.

HDFC Life’s rival SBI Life Insurance Co Ltd, a unit of top lender State Bank of India (SBI.NS), on Monday filed for an initial public offering of shares that bankers have said could raise more than $1 billion.

Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy; editing by Alexander Smith

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