July 14, 2017 / 3:06 PM / a year ago

ICICI Lombard files for first Indian IPO by a non-life insurer

MUMBAI, July 14 (Reuters) - India’s ICICI Lombard General Insurance Co Ltd has filed for an initial public offering (IPO) of shares in what would be the first IPO by a non-life insurance company in Asia’s third-largest economy.

ICICI Lombard's two main shareholders - ICICI Bank Ltd and Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd - will sell a combined 19 percent stake in the insurer in the IPO, according to the filing released on Friday. (bit.ly/2uqYrTh)

Bankers estimate the IPO could raise 60 billion rupees ($932 million), making it one of the biggest Indian IPOs in recent years. India’s IPO market has been on a roll with companies raising $2.6 billion in the first half of 2017, after $4 billion in 2016, the best year for IPOs in six years.

ICICI Bank, India’s third-biggest lender by assets which owns about 63 percent of ICICI Lombard, plans to sell up to a 7 percent stake, or 31.8 million shares, in the IPO.

Fairfax, led by Canadian billionaire Prem Watsa, is selling about 12 percent, or 54.5 million shares, in ICICI Lombard, the largest private sector non-life insurer in India.

It owns about 22 percent of the insurer, after it sold a 12.2 percent stake in May to investors including Warburg Pincus. That deal had valued ICICI Lombard at 203 billion rupees.

Fairfax, which is setting up a new insurance joint venture in India, needs to bring its stake in ICICI Lombard to below 10 percent to comply with regulations.

SBI Life Insurance Co Ltd is also gearing up for an IPO this year which bankers have said could raise as much as $1 billion. Non-life insurance companies owned by the Indian government also have plans to go public in 2017-18.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch, ICICI Securities, IIFL Holdings are leading six banks on the ICICI Lombard IPO. CLSA, Edelweiss and JM Financial are the other banks on the deal. ($1 = 64.3850 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy; editing by David Clarke)

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