ICICI Prudential Life has evinced interest to acquire troubled Sahara Group’s life insurance arm Sahara Life, which has policyholder liability of Rs 900 crore. In a rare intervention last month, the insurance regulator IRDAI had taken over the management of Subrata Roy- run insurance company saying that the insurer was “acting in a manner” prejudicial to the interest of subscribers. “We would like to confirm that we have expressed our interest to evaluate taking over policyholders’ liabilities and assets of Sahara Life,” ICICI Prudential Life Insurance said in a regulatory filing to stock exchanges today. ICICI Prudential Life, the first Indian insurance company to get listed, further said it was evaluating the way forward for taking over Sahara Life. “The last reported policyholders’ liabilities of Sahara Life is about Rs 900 crore, which is less than 1 per cent of the company’s balance sheet size,” it said. On June 12, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) had appointed one of its general managers as administrator to manage the affairs of Sahara Life.
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The regulator had said it has “reasons” to believe that Sahara India Life Insurance Company “is acting in a manner likely to be prejudicial to the interest of holders of life insurance policies”. Sahara Life had sold 665 policies worth Rs 1.53 crore during the April-May period of the current fiscal. The company had collected a premium worth Rs 44.68 crore from 16,058 customers in 2016-17. Shares of ICICI Prudential Life closed at Rs 489.35 apiece on the BSE, up 3.66 per cent. ICICI Prudential Life Insurance had reported a net profit at Rs 408.2 crore for the fourth quarter ended March 2017. During the fiscal ended March 2017, the Value of New Business (VNB) was increased by whopping 61.7 per cent to Rs 666 crore as compared to Rs 412 crore a year ago. VNB increased primarily on account of increase in protection business and improvement in persistence. ICICI Prudential was listed on stock exchanges in September last year.