Bupa, the London-based international insurance and healthcare company, has formally boosted its stake in its Indian health insurance joint venture, Max Bupa, to 49%, it announced today.
The company sought to make the increase in the wake of changes to India’s foreign direct investment rules, which permitted foreign companies and investors to own as much as 49% in Indian insurance companies.
Previously Bupa’s stake had been 26%, the previous maximum allowed under the rules.
In increasing its stake, Bupa became one of the first foreign investors in India’s health insurance sector to do so, the Bupa statement noted.
Bupa paid Rs 207 cr (approximately £21.9m) to Max India, in an all cash transaction, for the stake increase.
The transaction was concluded after receiving regulatory clearances from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India.
Launched in 2010, Max Bupa is now India’s seventh largest private health insurer, looking after more than two million customers there, and “continues to be amongst the fastest growing stand-alone health insurers” in the country, according to Bupa.
It has focused on building a retail customer and product portfolio via multiple sales channels, including agency, bancassurance, telesales and online.
Max India is a major Indian healthcare and insurance company based in New Delhi and listed on the BSE and the NSE exchanges.
In addition to its JV with Bupa, Max India also has a partnership with Japan’s Mitsui Sumitomo for its life insurance business, known as Max Life Insurance.