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Bharti Set to Acquire AXA’s Share in Partnership

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Bharti Life Ventures is on track to secure full ownership of Bharti AXA Life Insurance Company. On Wednesday, Bharti Group announced a definitive agreement to purchase AXA’s 49% share in the life insurance entity.

Bharti, AXA, Life Insurance, ICICI Lombard, Bharti Life Ventures, joint venture, regulatory approvals, foreign investment, National Company Law Tribunal, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India

This move follows the 2020 decision by Bharti and AXA to integrate Bharti AXA General Insurance with ICICI Lombard and AXA’s subsequent departure from ICICI Lombard’s shareholder list. The deal is anticipated to finalize by December 2023, pending regulatory clearances.

Bharti emphasizes its commitment to the Indian life insurance sector and is in discussions with potential strategic and financial collaborators to further expand its operations.

Historically, Bharti AXA Life Insurance commenced in 2006 as a joint venture, with Bharti and AXA holding 74% and 26% shares respectively. Following a 2015 policy change allowing foreign investments up to 49% in domestic insurance firms, AXA elevated its stake to 49%.

Additionally, in 2006, Bharti collaborated with AXA to establish Bharti AXA General Insurance. By 2020, both entities exited the general insurance segment, selling to ICICI Lombard. This merger was finalized on September 8, 2021, after securing approvals from the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) and the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai).

In financial updates, Bharti AXA Life Insurance reported a 12.37% annual decrease in its new business premium for the initial quarter of this fiscal year. In contrast, 26 private sector life insurance firms collectively witnessed a 13.75% annual growth. For FY23, the company recorded an 8.79% annual increase in its new business premium.

It’s essential to note that MAXIS is represented in India by PNB MetLife India, not Bharti AXA Life. Hence, this change does not impact pooling and captive arrangements.

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