Insurance News

Bandhan Financial Holdings in final stages of taking control of Aegon Life Insurance

Bandhan Financial Holdings is in the final stages of taking control of Aegon Life Insurance. The holding company of Bandhan Bank has received the final approval on the acquisition from the Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority (Irdai) earlier this week, two people familiar with the matter told ET.
With this, all regulatory approvals for the proposed acquisition are in place. Bandhan received the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) go-ahead four weeks ago.

“We expect the change of control to take effect in the coming weeks from Aegon and Bennett, Coleman & Co. (BCCL) to the Bandhan Group,” Karni Singh Arha, managing director, Bandhan Financial Holdings, told ET.

Aegon Life is a joint venture between Aegon NV, of Dutch origin, and BCCL, which is the owner and publisher of The Economic Times.

“The life insurer has established credentials in the digital space. We would like to leverage that experience and develop it further,” Arha said. “Additionally, we will look to ramp up other distribution partnerships – be they bancassurance or broking, among others. Given Bandhan’s experience and expertise of driving financial inclusion among the masses, this particular addition would be most consequential,” Arha said.

Aegon Life sold 15,618 policies as on December 31, 2023, more than 10 times the year-ago figures, giving it a 0.08% market share. Under group insurance schemes, it covered more than 300,000 lives and has a 0.14% market share. It collected first-year premiums of Rs 68 crore at the end of 2023, compared with Rs 4 crore a year ago.”We would like to build a franchise that is sustainable and profitable,” Arha said. Bandhan Financial Holdings, which holds about 39% in Kolkata-based Bandhan Bank, announced in July last year its plan to buy the company from its existing promoters.

Completion of this acquisition will provide Bandhan a footprint beyond banking and mutual funds.

The holding company owns 60% in Bandhan Asset Management, which was created following the acquisition of IDFC Asset Management Company by a consortium, including Singapore’s GIC and ChrysCapital.

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