Mumbai: ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Co. has picked arrangers for an initial public offering (IPO) of as much as $892 million, people familiar with the matter said, in what could be India’s biggest first-time share sale in six years.

The country’s largest private-sector life insurer selected Bank of America Corp. and ICICI Securities Ltd. to lead an offering scheduled for this year, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.

ICICI Prudential is seeking a listing at the same time as Indian rival HDFC Standard Life Insurance Co., a joint venture between Housing Development Finance Corp. and Standard Life Plc, is preparing an offering. The deals are slated to be the first listings from the country’s $50 billion life-insurance industry.

Citic CLSA Capital Markets Ltd., UBS Group AG, Deutsche Bank AG, JM Financial Ltd., IIFL Holdings Ltd. and Edelweiss Financial Services Ltd. are also working on the share sale for the insurer, which is controlled by ICICI Bank Ltd., the people said.

Stake sale

ICICI Bank plans to sell part of its stake in the IPO, while Prudential Plc, which has a 26% holding, has not yet made a decision on the sale, the people said.

A Mumbai-based spokesman for the insurer didn’t immediately respond to a phone call and an e-mail seeking comment.

The Indian parliament passed a bill last year allowing foreigners to own as much as 49% in the nation’s insurers, up from 26%. ICICI Bank, the country’s biggest private-sector lender, agreed in November to cut its stake in the Prudential joint venture in a deal valuing the insurer at 32.5 crore.

The insurer is now looking at a value of around 40,000 crore, the people said. The company aims to file a prospectus with the capital markets regulator by the end of the month, they said.

Board approval

PremjiInvest, a fund set up by Indian outsourcing billionaire Azim Premji, and Singapore state investment company Temasek Holdings Pte bought shares in the insurer, while ICICI Bank reduced its holding to 68%, according to an exchange filing.

The bank’s board approved a sale of part of the life insurance unit through an initial public offering, a 29 April exchange filing showed. Chanda Kochhar, the bank’s chief executive officer (CEO), said an IPO filing is intended by the end of the first quarter next year.

Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley and Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd. are among banks HDFC Standard Life picked for its IPO of as much as $400 million, people with knowledge of the matter said last month. Bloomberg

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