India's Exide in talks to sell 26 pct in insurance unit-sources

Fri Aug 2, 2013 4:28am EDT
 
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MUMBAI Aug 2 (Reuters) - India's Exide Industries Ltd is in separate talks with Canada's Manulife Financial Corp and Samsung Life Insurance Co to sell a 26 percent stake in its life insurance unit, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.

Exide has been looking for an equity partner in its life insurance business after Dutch banking and insurance group ING sold its 26 percent stake in the joint venture to the Indian partner in January.

A 26 percent stake in the insurance company, ING Vysya Life Insurance Company Ltd, may be valued at more than $100 million based on its premium income, said the sources, who declined to be named as they were not authorised to speak to the media.

Indian laws limit foreign ownership in domestic insurers to 26 percent and approval for a proposal to raise the holding to 49 percent has been pending for a long time due to fierce political opposition to the move.

Exide, which makes automotive and industrial batteries, and Manulife declined to comment. A spokesman for South Korea's Samsung Life said the company is currently not considering the asset as a "prospective buy."