The €521m all-stock deal is expected to close by Q4 2021 following receipt of regulatory approvals

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CCI approves merger of ICICI Lombard General Insurance and Bharti AXA General Insurance.(Credit: aymane jdidi from Pixabay)

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the €521m merger of Indian insurer ICICI Lombard General Insurance with Bharti AXA’s non-life insurance business.

The Indian competition regulator tweeted: “Commission approves acquisition of General Insurance Business of Bharti AXA @BhartiAXAGI by ICICI Lombard @ICICILombard.”

The merger agreement was signed in August 2020.

The annual premium of the enlarged firm will be nearly INR164.47bn ($2.21bn).

Following the CCI approval, ICICI Lombard and Bharti AXA are likely to create an integration committee to advance the merger process, reported The Hindu BusinessLine, citing sources having knowledge about the development.

The firms will be seeking regulatory approvals from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Indian Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA), the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), and others for the completion of the deal.

The deal is expected to be closed by the fourth quarter of 2021, subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.

Post-merger, the enlarged non-life entity is expected to have a market share of around 8.7% on a pro forma basis.

Bharti AXA General Insurance has close to 2,300 employees and has 152 branches in India. The company distributes a suite of retail and commercial non-life products.

As per the terms of the deal, shareholders of Bharti AXA will be issued two shares of ICICI Lombard for every 115 shares of Bharti AXA.

The ratio means a total of 35.8 million shares of ICICI Lombard, worth €521m, will be issued to Bharti AXA’s parent companies – French insurer AXA and Indian conglomerate Bharti, at the time of completion of the deal.