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Pantaloon Retail Sells 22.5% In Insurance Venture

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Future Group on 8 March, 2013, said its arm Pantaloon Retail has sold 22.5 per cent stake in Future Generali Life Insurance to investment company IITL for an estimated value of over Rs 300 crore.

The move is to help Future Group to pare some its debt.

Pantaloon Retail has entered into a share purchase agreement with Industrial Investment Trust Ltd (IITL) to sell its part holding representing 22.5 per cent in Future Generali India Life Insurance Company, Future Group said in a statement.

Although the company did not disclose the valuation, sources said the deal could be valued at over Rs 300 crore putting the total value of Future Generali Life Insurance at over Rs 1,330 crore.

Before the stake sale, Future Group held 74 per cent stake in the life insurance venture, while the remaining 26 per cent is with Italy-based Generali Group.

Out of Future Group's 74 per cent stake, 50 per cent was with Pantaloon Retail and 24 per cent was with the promoter of the retail chain -- Kishore Biyani family.

"The transaction is subject to the receipt of the necessary approvals from governmental and regulatory authorities, including the CCI, the IRDA and the RBI," the statement added.

Post the transaction, Future Group would continue to be the majority shareholder with 52 per cent stake in the life insurance venture.

Future Group, which runs stores under formats like Big Bazaar, Food Bazaar, e-zone is estimated to have a consolidated debt of Rs 6,000 crore.

Last year, the group had hived off its flagship Pantaloon into a separate entity to sell majority stake in it to Aditya Birla Nuvo, which agreed to infuse Rs 1,600 crore.

Similarly, it had sold 53.67 per cent stake in Future Capital Holdings to US-based private equity Warburg Pincus to raise an estimated Rs 560 crore.