ManuLife, or the Manufacturers Life Insurance, the largest life insurance firm in Canada, has emerged as a surprise lead contender to acquire a controlling stake in insurance firm IDBI-Federal for about $550- $650 million, as per the indicative bids submitted by various firms, multiple sources close to the deal process told ET.
This underscores the growing trend of Canadian investors aggressively looking at India for growth opportunities. After financial investors put in close to $10 billion in India over the past 18 months, it’s now the turn of strategists from the North American country to carry on the deal momentum. ManuLife is competing with local rivals such as HDFC Standardlife and Birla Sunlife to buy the company, currently controlled by local lenders such as IDBIBSE 7.80 % and Federal Bank and their foreign partner, Ageas. Belgian insurer Ageas and Federal Bank owns 26% each in the firm, while IDBI has the remaining 48%.