News Non-Life27 Jul 2018

China:Fosun considers takeover of US$10bn Belgian insurer

27 Jul 2018

Shanghai headquartered international conglomerate and investment company Fosun International is considering an offer for all or part of Belgian insurer Ageas in what could be its boldest move to expand its international footprint, reports Bloomberg citing people familiar with the matter.

Fosun is talking to advisers about alternatives including teaming up with a partner to split the Brussels-based company or increasing its current stake, the people said, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are private. No final decisions have been made and Fosun may decide against pursuing a deal, they said. Representatives for Ageas and Fosun declined to comment.

Fosun has continued to expand its international business empire amid a Chinese crackdown on overseas deals in some industries that’s forced other conglomerates like Anbang Insurance Group to shed assets. This year, Fosun has announced deals for Brazilian brokerage Guide Investimentos and French fashion house Lanvin.

Fosun's biggest overseas forays abroad have been in insurance. The company bought control of Portugal-based Caixa Geral de Depositos' insurance business in 2014, data compiled by Bloomberg show. It also acquired US-based Ironshore in 2015 for $2.1bn and then sold it less than two years later.

Fosun already holds about 3% of Ageas, in which Ping An Insurance is the largest shareholder with a 5% stake, according to filings.

Ageas ranks number one in life insurance and number two in non-life in Belgium. In addition to operations across Europe, Ageas sells products in China, Malaysia, India, Thailand, the Philippines, Laos, Cambodia, Singapore and Vietnam. It is also a minority partner in a joint venture with China Taiping Insurance Holdings.

At home, Fosun's insurance related interests include: Yong'an P&C Insurance, Pramerica Fosun Life Insurance, Peak Reinsurance,and Fosun United Health Insurance.

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