UPDATE 1-India's Pantaloon to sell 22.5 pct in insurance venture

Last Updated: Fri, Mar 08, 2013 15:20 hrs

(Adds details)

MUMBAI, March 8 (Reuters) - India's Pantaloon Retail Ltd agreed to sell a 22.5 percent stake in its life insurance joint venture with Italy's Generali SpA as part of a move to pare holdings in unrelated businesses.

The country's top listed retailer by sales will sell the stake in Future Generali India Life Insurance Co to financial group Industrial Investment Trust Ltd, it said in a statement on Friday.

The company did not provide the financial terms of the deal.

Pantaloon holds 25.5 percent in the insurance venture, while its unlisted parent Future Group has a 49 percent stake. After the deal, which is subject to regulatory approvals, the group's combined holding will fall to 52 percent.

Generali owns 25.5 percent in Future Generali India Life Insurance, which posted a loss of 71.5 million rupees ($1.3 million) in the quarter through December, according to information on the company website.

Future Group, whose main activity is running hypermarket chains such as Big Bazaar in the domestic market, has been looking to exit or pare its holding in non-core businesses to reduce its debt.

In June 2012, the group agreed to sell a controlling stake in its Future Capital Holdings Ltd unit, which provides consumer and mortgage loans, to Warburg Pincus LLC for nearly $100 million.

($1 = 54.5350 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Nandita Bose and Sumeet Chatterjee; Editing by David Holmes)

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