Standard Life’s India business in merger talks

Edinburgh-based Standard Life said its Indian joint venture HDFC Standard Life has started merger talks with Max Life Insurance Company Limited and Max Financial Services Limited.

Such a deal would create India’s top private-sector life insurer.

The companies said they had entered into a “confidentiality, exclusivity and standstill agreement” to evaluate a possible merger.

“Any transaction, should it proceed, would be subject to applicable board, shareholder, regulatory, court, and other approvals,” said Standard Life.

“There is no certainty at this stage that any transaction will proceed and Standard Life will update the market at the appropriate time.”

Standard Life currently holds a 35% stake in HDFC Life.