AB Nuvo plans holding co for financial business

13 May 2009

Aditya Birla Nuvo has decided to create a holding company for its financial services business comprising asset management, insurance stock broking and distribution. The move is aimed to unlock shareholder value. Aditya Birla Nuvo will entirely own the holding firm initially, but later it might divest a minority stake to financial investors. It has sought the RBI approval for setting up a holding company.

Some private equity players have shown interest in picking up a stake in the proposed holding company. The company has gained critical mass in AMC and insurance businesses. The plan seems to be a precursor to a possible listing of the financial services business at an opportune moment. The $29-billion group runs a large mutual fund and life insurance business in partnership with Canada’s Sun Life. Aditya Birla Nuvo holds 74% in the insurance JV, Birla Sun Life Insurance and 50% in the mutual fund entity — Birla Sun Life Asset Management Company. It recently acquired a stock broking outfit called Apollo Sindhoori from the Chennai-based Reddy family. It has also scaled up its equity stake in Birla Sun Life Distribution (BADL), a wealth management company that is focused on investment advisory and financial planning by purchasing Sun Life’s 50% stake. All these operations will be under the holding company.

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