Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, PremjiInvest in fray to buy Star Health Insurance; sale price pegged at $1bn

It seems master investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala is on a buying spree of companies. After news reports on Tuesday of the Big Bull eyeing assets of Binani Cement, news comes in that he is now in the race to buy Star Health Insurance, touted as India's first standalone health insurance company.

Star Health is the brainchild of V Jagannathan, who formerly headed public sector insurer United India Insurance. The company had reported a profit of Rs 118 crore for FY17, down 13.6 percent from Rs 136 crore in the previous fiscal.

According to this report in The Times of India, the insurance player comes with a hefty price tag of $1 billion and Jhunjhunwala’s investment firm RARE Enterprises will fight it out in esteemed company of Azim Premji’s PremjiInvest, besides six other companies who are eyeing the insurer.

Rakesh Jhunjhunwala. Reuters

Rakesh Jhunjhunwala. Reuters

The TOI report adds that the other investors  who have put in their bids include Kedaara Capital, WestBridge, Temasek and Prudential, ICICI Lombard and HDFC General Insurance. Incidentally, the transaction has entered the last leg.

All the investors of Star Health -- ICICI Venture, Sequoia Capital, Tata Capital, Alpha TC Holdings, Apis Partners, Oman Insurance Company and ETA Star of Dubai – have reportedly backed the sale of the insurance firm.

Shareholders too share the investors' view. They feel that since there are a number of health insurance companies opting to go public, it is the right time to sell the firm.  Investment banking firm Kotak is spearheading the sale. The deal is expected to be completed over the next couple of months, the TOI report said.

V Jagannathan, who has been at the helm of affairs of Star Health, is credited with turning around the standalone insurance company. Under his stewardship, Star Health became one of the major profitable health insurance companies, the TOI report said.



Updated Date: Jan 17, 2018 13:52 PM

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