Brought to you by:

QBE to exit India with sale of joint venture

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google

QBE has agreed to sell its insurance joint venture in India, as the insurer continues to “simplify” its business model as part of the revamp plan introduced by Group CEO Pat Regan, when he formally took charge in January 2018.

The agreement to sell Raheja QBE reportedly for $US76 million ($109.2 million), if approved by regulatory authorities in India, will see the Australian insurer make an exit from Asia’s third-largest economy.

QBE holds a minority 49% stake in the Mumbai-based joint venture, which was set up in 2009, offering general insurance products to personal and commercial lines customers. Prism Johnson, an Indian building materials company, owns the remaining 51%.

“[The] announcement marks both a continuation of QBE’s strategy to simplify our business and the beginning of a new and exciting chapter for our strong team at Raheja QBE,” QBE Australia Pacific CEO Vivek Bhatia said.

Under the terms of the deal, the joint venture will be owned through entities with ties to Vijay Shekhar Sharma, one of the country’s leading billionaire techpreneurs who founded the Paytm digital transactions platform.

QorQ1, a technology company that is majority-owned by Mr Sharma, and Paytm, will own the business once regulatory hurdles are cleared.

“It is an important milestone in Paytm’s financial services journey, and we are very excited to welcome Raheja QBE into the Paytm family,” Paytm President Amit Nayyar said.

“Its strong management team will help us accelerate our journey of taking insurance to the large population of India with the aim to create a tech-driven, multi-channel general insurance company with innovative and affordable insurance products.”

The decision to exit India, one of the fastest-growing markets for insurance products, follows a similar retreat by IAG last year, which saw the personal lines giant agreeing to a deal to sell its 26% stake in the SBI General joint venture for more than $640 million.