UPDATE 1-India's Exide in talks to sell insurance unit stake-sources

Fri Aug 2, 2013 5:57am EDT
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* In separate talks with Manulife and Samsung Life for stake sale

* 26 percent stake could be valued at more than $100 million

By Sumeet Chatterjee

MUMBAI, Aug 2 (Reuters) - India's Exide Industries Ltd is in talks with Manulife Financial Corp as well as 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.

Exide is seeking capital for investment and the stake in ING Vysya Life Insurance Company Ltd may be valued at more than $100 million based on its premium income, the sources said.

They declined to be named as they were not authorised to speak to the media.

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."

ING Vysya posted its maiden profit of about 231 million rupees ($3.8 million) in the last financial year that ended on March 31, according to the company filings, more than a decade after it had launched operations.   Continued...