India’s Axis Bank to raise stake in Max Life via 16.12 billion rupee investment

BENGALURU (Reuters) – India’s Axis Bank on Wednesday said it will raise its stake in insurer Max Life to 16.2% from 9.99% by infusing 16.12 billion rupees ($194.6 million) through a preferential allotment of shares.

Axis Bank along with its entities acquired a 12.99% stake in Max Life in 2021, and through this new investment they will own 19.02% in the insurer.

Max Financial Services, the holding company of Max Life, will hold about 80.98% in the insurer.

The proposed infusion by Axis Bank in Max Life will help it to support its future growth ambitions, Max Financial Services said in a statement.

The investment is subject to regulatory approvals and will strengthen the lender’s position in the life insurance business, Axis Bank said, adding that Axis Entities would have the right to appoint the chairman.

Axis Bank, which held a minority stake in Max Life before the 2021 deal, had originally proposed to acquire nearly 30% in the insurer, but cut down the stake purchase plan due to certain regulatory roadblocks.

At Axis Bank’s post earnings press conference last month, CEO Amitabh Chaudhry said the lender intends to stick to its plan to acquire up to 20% in Max Life.

($1 = 82.8460 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Sethuraman NR in Bengaluru; Editing by Sohini Goswami and Sonia Cheema)