Subrata Roy, chairman of Sahara Group, center, leaves a company event (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

ICICI Prudential Gets Insurance Regulator’s Nod To Take Over Sahara Life’s Business

ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company Ltd. will take over the business of Sahara India Life Insurance Company Ltd.

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India cleared the takeover on Friday, the private insurer said in an exchange filing. “This is not a merger between the two companies and is only a transfer of the life insurance portfolio,” it said.

Sahara Life has a policyholder liability of Rs 900 crore, and the portfolio being transferred is less than 1 percent of its balance sheet, ICICI Prudential said.

The Sahara Group’s fortunes have tumbled after the Supreme Court sent its chief Subrata Roy to jail in March 2014 for not complying with orders to refund investors. The court had asked the group to repay over Rs 24,000 crore along with interest to more than 2 crore investors after the market regulator found that two group companies had illegally raised funds. The group has been trying to sell assets to raise capital.

Roy had met IRDAI chairman on Monday seeking more time to resolve the crisis at his life insurance arm.

The regulator took over the management of the insurer in June saying it was “acting in a manner” prejudicial to the interest of subscribers. IRDAI appointed its general manager R K Sharma as an administrator to run Sahara Life due to governance-related issues at the Lucknow-based company.

Shares of ICICI Prudential Life ended 2.2 percent higher compared to a 0.2 percent fall in the benchmark BSE Sensex.