US-based New York Life has picked up around 2 per cent stake in Max Financial Services (MFS) through bulk deals and open market purchases for over Rs 215 crore, signalling its renewed interest in the life insurance business of its former partner in India. According to market sources, New York Life acquired 49,99,130 shares of MFS from Max Ventures Investment Holdings, a promoter group holding company, at Rs 429.50 per share in a bulk deal on Thursday.
After the transaction, the promoter holding in MFS has come down to 28.42 per cent from 30.29 per cent earlier.
Max Financial Services is the holding company of Max Life, a non-bank, private life insurance firm.
Over the past couple of days, New York Life had also acquired shares of MFS from the open market.
"With today's bulk deal, New York Life's stake in Max Financial Services is around 2 per cent," said a source.
The development comes six years after New York Life exited from Max New York Life, a joint venture it had formed in 2001 with Analjit Singh-led Max Group.
In 2012, the US insurance major sold its 26 per cent stake in the JV to Japan's Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance and Max India. The move followed New York Life's then decision of rewinding from its international footprints, including China and Thailand.
The source said, "The latest development is a sign of revival of New York Life's interest in the life insurance business of its erstwhile partner."
When contacted, Max group spokesperson declined to comment.
In January last year, New York Life Insurance had picked up 22.51 per cent stake for Rs 121 crore in Max Ventures and Industries, the holding company of Max Speciality Films which is into speciality packaging films business.