March 1, 2019 / 10:01 AM / 3 months ago

U.S. PE firm Carlyle buys 9 percent in Indian insurer from BNP Paribas

FILE PHOTO: The logo of the Carlyle Group is displayed at the company's office in Tokyo, Japan October 17, 2018. REUTERS/Issei Kato

(Reuters) - U.S. private-equity firm Carlyle Group has bought a 9 percent stake in India’s SBI Life Insurance Ltd from France’s largest-listed bank BNP Paribas in a deal that could be worth about $653 million.

SBI Life is a joint venture between State Bank of India, the country’s largest lender by assets, and BNP Paribas Cardif, a BNP unit.

BNP’s stake in the Indian insurer will be 12.8 percent after the deal, while SBI will remain a majority shareholder with 62.1 percent stake, Carlyle said on Friday.

The French lender offloaded 9.23 percent, or 92.25 million, SBI Life shares on Friday, it said, adding that 90 million of those were acquired by an affiliated entity of Carlyle.

While the companies did not reveal price details, there were a series of block deals on the exchange at 515 rupees ($7.26) per share, according to Refinitiv Eikon data, indicating an 11 percent discount to SBI Life’s Thursday close.

Based on the block deal rate, Carlyle could have bought the SBI Life shares for about $653 million.

Shares in SBI Life rose as much as 7.6 percent, their biggest percentage gain since Oct. 10. The stock earlier fell as much as 10.9 percent to a low of 515.55 rupees.

($1 = 70.9550 Indian rupees)

Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by Himani Sarkar

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