Why HDFC Life snapped up Exide Life at a excessive worth


HDFC Life Insurance coverage Firm Ltd is all set to beef up its distribution community and achieve a stronghold within the southern states of the nation by its acquisition of Exide Life Insurance coverage. Nonetheless, the query is whether or not probably the most beneficial personal life insurer made a pricey guess.

One signal that buyers are exhibiting concern on the deal worth was the three.3% fall in HDFC Life’s share worth on Friday after the acquisition was introduced. The private-sector life insurer would pay 6,687 crore in a cash-and-stock combine to purchase Exide Life. Exide Industries would get 716 crore upfront money and eight.7 crore shares of HDFC Life at 685 apiece. Exide will maintain 4.1% stake in HDFC Life.

It’s clear that Exide shareholders stand to achieve excess of these of HDFC Life. In any case, HDFC Life has demonstrated a robust efficiency trajectory to date, justifying its premium valuation. Shares of battery maker Exide Industries, the mum or dad of Exide Life, surged 5.8%.

A leap of growth

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A leap of development

The rationale behind the acquisition is to spice up HDFC Life’s company distribution channel, the insurer’s managing director and chief government officer, Vibha Padalkar, stated in an investor name on Friday.

Another excuse is the need to penetrate into south India and into tier-2 and tier-3 cities, and Exide Life has a stronghold right here. As a lot as 50% of Exide Life’s enterprise comes from the southern states of India, stated Niraj Shah, chief monetary officer of HDFC Life. “Their geographical presence is complementary to us,” he stated.

Exide Life’s acquisition will add 40% to HDFC Life’s company channel and 38% of channel enterprise on an annual premium equal (APE) foundation, which is critical, Shah identified.

Nonetheless, one query that buyers should ask is whether or not HDFC Life might have grown organically as an alternative of shelling out 6,687 crore simply to spice up company community.

HDFC Life’s enterprise development has been a stellar 17% over the previous three years, on a compound annual development fee foundation. That is considerably increased than the three% clocked by the life insurance coverage trade.

The expansion has been regardless of the impact of lockdowns following the coronavirus outbreak. HDFC Life added the very best variety of brokers within the trade through the June quarter. The insurer’s company drive has just lately been rising round 40%, analysts at Sure Securities Ltd identified. Exide Life’s acquisition would enhance the company community equal to two-three years of development at one go, they stated.

For HDFC Life to keep up its double-digit enterprise development, the inorganic route appears to be like simpler.

That stated, Exide Life hasn’t actually made a mark relating to development. Its market share has been regular round 1%. Additional, submit price overruns, the margins are decrease than that of HDFC Life, indicating excessive prices and decrease productiveness. Exide Life’s underwriting requirements, product combine and even price overruns are manageable and would quickly match that of HDFC Life, Shah stated.

Within the near-term although, it’s clear that HDFC Life’s metrics could also be pulled down barely.

The deal values Exide Life at 55% low cost to HDFC Life’s valuations, a Jefferies report identified. Whether or not the valuations justify the advantages that HDFC Life will accrue stays to be seen. It might take 12-18 months for HDFC Life and Exide Life to merge and the advantages of the acquisition would accrue in one-two years after that.

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