Money & Banking

Biyani close to deal with SBI to ‘future’-proof insurance arms

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on September 28, 2020 Published on September 27, 2020

Kishore Biyani

‘Promising’ move will help group bring down debt

As part of a plan to cut down on debt, the Kishore Biyani-led Future Group is all set to close a deal with State Bank of India for the sale of both the general and life insurance segments.

 

Sources close to the development said that Future Group’s discussions with State Bank of India for a possible stake sale of its insurance businesses to SBI Life Insurance and SBI General Insurance have reached the final stages.

Valuations and approvals

“Talks are at an advanced stage for a possible merger of the two insurance arms with SBI Life and SBI General Insurance. But it is to be seen how they proceed in terms of valuations and approvals,” said another person familiar with the development.

In response to an e-mail query from BusinessLine, SBI Life Insurance said it does not comment on market speculation.

A spokesperson for SBI General Insurance too said: “We would not like to comment on market speculations.”

Future Generali India Life Insurance Company is a joint venture between the Future Group, global insurance major Generali Group and Industrial Investment Trust Ltd. It is present in 136 locations across the country and has covered 1.2 crore lives since inception.

Similarly, Future General India Insurance is a joint venture between Future Group and Generali Group. It has over 125 branches in the country and has sold more than 82 lakh policies.

Debt burden

Biyani has been keen to exit or sell at least part stake in the insurance ventures for some time as he looks to bring down his debt obligations. In the past, the Future Group has also held discussions with other investors to this effect. However, sources said talks with SBI seem to have been the most promising.

Just last month, Reliance Industries Ltd had announced that its subsidiary Reliance Retail Ventures would acquire the retail and wholesale business and the logistics and warehousing business from the Future Group for ₹24,713 crore.

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Published on September 27, 2020
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