Sun Life to raise stake in Birla Sun Life Insurance from 49 per cent By STAFF REPORTER Aditya Birla Nuvo, a $4.4 billion conglomerate and a part of the $41 billion Aditya Birla Group, has announced that Sun Life Financial will increase its stake in the life insurance joint venture, Birla Sun Life Insurance from 26 per cent to 49 per cent with an investment of Rs 1,664 crore, subject to the requisite approvals. Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman, Aditya Birla Nuvo and BSLI, said, “Financial Services is one of our fastest growing businesses and is among our core businesses. Our life insurance business, BSLI plays a key role in helping us reach out to mass India and protect their financial future; also helping us drive the financial inclusion agenda”. He further added, “Our partnership with Sun Life goes back to 1999 as we commenced our joint venture with our mutual fund business and thereafter with our life insurance business in 2001. In Sun Life, our joint venture partner, we find many synergies that are reflective of their belief and commitment towards the Indian market. Both Sun Life and ABNL have closely partnered in building the life insurance business to its current scale, investing heavily in both capital and resources. I am confident that this move will only strengthen our long standing partnership and help us realize our vision of being a top three private life insurer in India.” Ajay Srinivasan, Chief Executive – Financial Services, Aditya Birla Group said, “We have a long standing relationship with Sun Life Financial for two of our key businesses, life insurance and asset management. Our partnership goes back to over a decade and has given us learning and growth opportunities, given Sun Life’s expertise in these sectors. We are happy to now further strengthen this mutually beneficial relationship”. Dean Connor, President and Chief Executive Officer, Sun Life Financial said, "Increasing our ownership position in BSLI, one of India’s leading private life insurers, in partnership with a well-respected partner in Aditya Birla Group, in the world’s second most populous country with strong growth prospects, is exactly on strategy and supports our aspirations for Sun Life Asia as one of our four pillars of growth.” ABNL has entered an agreement with the Canadian insurance major Sun Life to sell approximately 437 million equity shares constituting 23% of the issued and paid up equity share capital of BSLI. On completion of the transaction, Sun Life’s stake in BSLI will increase from current 26% to 49% while ABNL will continue to hold the controlling stake at 51%. The 23% stake sale will fetch ABNL Rs. 1,664 Crore, valuing BSLI at Rs 7,235 crore. BSLI is one of the leading private life insurance players in India, with the new business premium market share of 7.9% for the half year ended 30th September 2015, it enjoys the trust of 1.6 million policyholders and an extensive distribution reach spanning 418 cities through a network of over 55,000 advisors across 489 branches. The transaction is expected to close by the end of FY2015-16, subject to the customary closing conditions and the requisite statutory and regulatory approvals in India and Canada.