Money & Banking

MetLife in talks with PSU banks for equity sale

PTI New Delhi | Updated on February 22, 2011 Published on February 22, 2011

As part of its business growth plans, private insurer, MetLife India, has begun talks with at least three PSU banks for sale of up to 10 per cent stake and bring in a new distributor partner.

MetLife is talking with Corporation Bank, Vijaya Bank and UCO Bank among others to join it as a distributor partner and has also offered them 5—10 per cent stake, either through purchase of shares from existing shareholders or infusion of fresh capital, sources said.

The move is part of MetLife’s plans to expand its business across the country through a stronger distributor network and further equity infusion, sources added.

When contacted, the company declined to disclose the names of the banks or the extent of equity dilution to new partner.

However, MetLife India Managing Director, Mr Rajesh Relan, said that discussions were on with potential bank partners.

“We are in discussion with number of prospective bank partners for distribution partners as part of our normal business. If the banks want to have equity participation, the board of the company will consider such a proposal,” Mr Relan said.

He said that Metlife India was open to bringing in fresh capital as and when required from existing shareholders, and also from new distribution partners.

Sources said that the company was looking for both bank and non bank distribution partners, who could help in its strong growth momentum and were also willing to bring in fresh capital to support the enhanced business plan.

Post the induction of the new distribution partner, the equity structure at Metlife India is likely to undergo a change, wherein the new partner can buy into existing share holders or infuse fresh capital.

Mr Relan said that MetLife has declared profits for two consecutive quarters in 2010.

“In the event we establish a tie up with a large Bank, we are open to bringing in fresh capital through existing shareholders or with strategic distribution partners to meet the requirements,” he added.

MetLife India is an affiliate of Metlife and was incorporated as a joint venture between US based MetLife International Holdings Inc, The Jammu and Kashmir Bank, M Pallonji and Co Private Limited and other private investors.

The insurance company started operation in 2001.

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Published on February 22, 2011
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