Sri Lanka JKH ups stake in Union Assurance to 80-pct

May 05, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s John Keells Holdings (JKH) said it had increased its stake in insurer Union Assurance by a further 2.52 percent after an offer to buy out remaining shareholders which ended Monday. JKH deputy chairman Ajit Gunewardena said at the time the move was aimed at consolidating the conglomerate’s position in the financial services sector, which is a part of its core business. JKH said in a stock exchange filing that it now controlled 80.64 percent of Union Assurance directly and through subsidiaries Whittal Boustead (Travel) and Mackinnon and Keells Financial Services.

However, JKH said further acceptances of its offer may be received by mail Tuesday.

Rival insurer Eagle Insurance is the second largest shareholder of Union Assurance with a 15 percent stake.

JKH gained full control Union Assurance in February by buying a 37 percent stake for 998 million rupees from the Carsons group raising their stake to 74 percent and triggering the mandatory offer to all shareholders.