London-based JLT, the world’s fourth largest insurance broker, is in talks with Vantage Consulting to buy the Indian firm for an undisclosed sum as the increase in foreign holding limit has offered global players an opportunity to rapidly expand their presence in the country. JLT, a Jardine Lloyd Thompson associate company, formed a joint venture with Chennai-based Sunidhi Group and started operations in December 2014 to service high-end and complex risks in India.
We are in talks with six-seven insurance brokers for acquisition to expand in areas that we would like to be present in,” said Sanjay Radhakrishnan, chief executive of JLT Independent Insurance Brokers. The spokesperson of Pune-based Vantage Consulting said, “We would not like to comment on the matter.” This will be the first acquisition by JLT. In 2012, US-based private equity firm LeapFrog Investments had acquired a 15 per cent stake in Mahindra Insurance Brokers, an arm of Mahindra and Mahindra Financial Services, for Rs 80.4 crore.
JLT, among the late entrants in India’s insurance industry, is trying to gain market share by way of acquisition. It is the global leader in businesses including oil and gas, aviation, financial institutions and marine.
The acquisition will give it an opportunity to scale up employee benefits business since Vantage Consulting specialises in this area, providing advisory services to individuals and corporates. Vantage has served over 700 organisations with nearly one million lives. The company does a business of over Rs 400 crore in premium charges. Founded in 2004, it has over 230 associates, the largest pool in the country in employee benefit insurance domain.
Source: Economic Times
Date : 12th October, 2015