ICICI Prudential Life Insurance has appointed Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofA-ML) and ICICI Securities as lead investment bankers for its initial public offering (IPO) of equity.
The company, a joint venture between ICICI Bank (the majority equity) and Britain’s Prudential (26 per cent), plans to file its offer document with the markets regulator by the end of this year.
The IPO could be worth as much as $1 billion, said people in the know. ICICI Prudential could be the one of the first insurance companies to hit the domestic capital market.
The domestic life insurance market has about two dozen players but is dominated by state-owned Life Insurance Corporation of India.
BofA-ML and ICICI Sec will start work on the IPO. At a slightly later stage, the company will appoint a few more bankers, said a source.
HDFC Standard Life, a subsidiary of Housing Development Finance Corp and Britain’s Standard Life, recently hired Citigroup, JPMorgan, Kotak Investment Banking and Morgan Stanley to handle its IPO.
The offering could take place later this year. SBI Life Insurance is also likely to soon appoint bankers.
Activity picked up after amendment in the insurance law norms last year to allow foreign partners up to 49 per cent stake from the earlier 26 per cent in Indian insurance companies.
This triggered companies to go for offerings, as most life insurers are partly foreign-owned. By Bloomberg data, Indian insurers have drawn at least Rs 9,100 crore in foreign investment since the ownership cap was raised last year.
In November, ICICI Bank had sold six per cent stake in ICICI Prudential Life Insurance to investors led by Premji Invest for Rs 1,950 crore. This deal had valued the company at Rs 32,500 crore.