Canada's Intact Ins, Germany's HDI-Gerling in race for Reliance General Ins: report

Canada's Intact Insurance Co and Germany's HDI-Gerling International Holding AG, have emerged as top contenders to buy a 26-per cent stake in Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Capital Ltd's non-life insurance arm, Reliance General Insurance Co. Ltd, the Mint yesterday reported, citing two people with direct knowledge of the development.

The deal value could be around Rs1,500 crore ($286.8 million), potentially making it among the largest foreign investments in the insurance business in India, said the report.

Reliance General Insurance is one of India's leading private general insurance companies with over 94 customised insurance products catering to the corporate, SME and individual customers. Reliance General Insurance has an extended network of over 200 offices spread across 173 cities in 22 states, a wide distribution channel network.

It is also India's first insurance company to be awarded the ISO 9001:2000 certification across all functions, processes, products and locations pan-India.

Early this month the company reported first full-year net profit of Rs373 crore for the fiscal ending 31 March, 2012, after posting a net loss of Rs129 crore in fiscal 2010.

It sold 1.1 million policies and garnered a total premium of Rs5,470 crore last fiscal. The company's total funds under management stood at Rs18,767 crore as on 31 March 2012.

In October 2011, Japan's largest private insurer Nippon Life Insurance bought a 26-per cent stake in Reliance Insurance for Rs3,062 crore. The transaction valued Reliance Life at Rs 11,500 crore.

A major part of the proceeds was used to repay debt and infuse money into the business.

With 2011revenue of C$5.126 billion, Toronto-based Intact Insurance is Canada's largest home, auto and business insurance company with 11 per cent market share, while Hannover-based HDI-Gerling is the third biggest insurance group in Germany.