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Future Generali: Pantaloon in tie-up for insurance business

Future Group which owns Pantaloon will hold 74% in JV with Generali.

May 24, 2006

Future Generali, the insurance joint venture of Pantaloon Retail India and Italian insurance firm The Generali Group is set to go. On Monday, Pantaloon informed the stock exchanges that it has formed a 74:26 joint venture with Generali of Italy to start life and non-life insurance businesses in India. Pantaloon will hold 74%, while the rest will be held by the JV partner. Future is the new brand name being promoted by Pantaloon Retail. Future Generali will have a start-up capital of Rs 2 billion.

Of the 74% Pantaloon stake in Future Generali, the Pantaloon Retail will take 56%, while Pantaloon Industries will hold 18%.

Future Generali's formation will be subject to clearances from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) and other necessary approvals, the companies said.

The JV partners of Future Generali are gung-ho on the growth of insurance industry in India. Pantaloon and Generali are betting on a 15-20% growth in the insurance business in India. High savings and the opening up of the insurance industry are seen as positives for the insurance sector.

Future Generali will be the first step being taken by Generali in the Indian insurance market.

Said Kishore Biyani, Chief Executive of the Future Group that owns Pantaloon: "India is a very young country with 60 percent of the population below 30 years of age. These are the new insurance buyers of India tomorrow who spend a significant time at modern retail outlets (stores and malls)."

Generali is one of the largest insurance groups in the world, operating in 40 countries through 107 companies. It ranks 22 in the list of Fortune 500 companies and is the largest corporation in Italy with an asset base of over euro 300 billion. Both Generali and Pantaloon Retail are listed companies.


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