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CCI clears Reliance buyout of Bharti’s stake in insurance JVs

The Sunil Mittal-headed Bharti group had exited from its financial services joint ventures and sold its entire 74% stake in both general and life insurance businesses to Mukesh Ambani-led RIL for an undisclosed amount

New Delhi: The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has cleared Reliance Industries' (RIL) buyout of Bharti group's 74% stake in insurance joint ventures (JVs) with AXA of France, reports PTI.

"The monopoly watchdog has cleared the deal within 14 days of application as there was no anti-competition issue involved," a source said.

The Sunil Mittal-headed Bharti group had exited from its financial services joint ventures and sold its entire 74% stake in both general and life insurance businesses to Mukesh Ambani-led RIL for an undisclosed amount.

As per the competition law effective from 1st June, the high value deals need to have clearance of the monopoly watchdog CCI. The merger deals will come under CCI radar if the combined turnover of the two companies is Rs4,500 crore and above.

The Reliance-Bharti AXA deal is first such deal to be cleared since June.

Bharti had entered into joint ventures with the AXA group in 2006 and held 74% stake in both these ventures-Bharti AXA Life Insurance and Bharti AXA General Insurance.

RIL and its subsidiary Reliance Industrial Infrastructure (RIIL) would own 57% and 17% respectively in both the insurance companies and would become AXA's JV partners in India.

AXA holds 26% stake in the JV in line with the foreign direct investment ceiling in the sector.

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