Brussels-based insurer Ageas announced it has signed an agreement to acquire 40 percent of the share capital of the Indian non-life insurance company Royal Sundaram General Insurance Co. Ltd. (RSGI) for a total consideration of €186 million (US$209.4 million).
The acquisition fits Ageas’s strategy to expand its activities in fast growing markets in which it already operates, focusing on non-life insurance in particular.
The transaction is subject to the approval of regulators and is expected to close in the first half of 2019. After completion, Ageas will hold 40 percent of RSGI’s share capital, Sundaram Finance Ltd. will hold 50 percent and various other shareholders will have the remaining 10 percent.
T Srinivasaraghavan, Managing Director, Sundaram Finance, said that over the past 18 years, Royal Sundaram has built a sterling reputation in the market for its customer service excellence, notably in claims management.
“Ageas is unique in its approach of working through local partnerships and joint ventures across Asia and we believe this can create significant value for Royal Sundaram.The company has demonstrated strong growth in its chosen segments and is witnessing a rapid growth in its profitability. For the next phase of growth, we are delighted to be partnering with Ageas, whose global experience, including several Asian countries, will be an asset.
“Partnering with Sundaram Finance, a well-established company with a vast knowledge of the Indian insurance market, offers us a great opportunity to benefit from the potential of what is one of the world’s largest economies with an insurance industry that is expected to grow significantly in the coming years,” commented Bart De Smet, CEO of Ageas.
“Being already present in the Indian life insurance market, we now will be able, through this new joint venture, to also fully grasp opportunities in the non-life market. We are confident that Ageas’s insurance expertise combined with Sundaram Finance’s market knowledge and position will take RSGI to a next level in terms of size and profitability,” he added.
RSGI is a top 10 privately owned player in the Indian general insurance market, focusing in motor and health insurance. The company benefits from extended distribution capabilities with a nationwide network of more than 5,600 agents, 700 branches and relationships with banks and other distribution partners off- and online, said Ageas in a statement.
In 2018 RSGI generated €321 million ($361.4 million) inflows and €10 million ($11.3 million) net profit and realized between 2015 and 2018, an average annual growth rate of 19 percent and 55 percent in inflows and net profit, respectively.
Concentrating its activities in Europe and Asia, Ageas operates insurance businesses in Belgium, the UK, Luxembourg, France, Portugal, Turkey, China, Malaysia, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Singapore, and the Philippines through a combination of wholly owned subsidiaries and long-term partnerships with financial institutions and key distributors.