China's Anbang Insurance Group has picked JPMorgan to manage the EUR1.4-1.8bn ($1.6-$2bn) sale of its Dutch insurance arm Vivat, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
The Chinese government has been considering the sale of Anbang's overseas real estate and insurance assets, which include Belgian insurer Fidea, since it took control of the troubled company in February.
JPMorgan won the mandate after Anbang asked banks to pitch for a role in August, the sources said.
Sources said in July the insurer was looking to offload overseas properties worth about $10bn to shore up its balance sheet. It had received a bailout loan ofAround $10bn from the government-backed China Insurance Security Fund.
UBS and China's CICC have wider roles advising Anbang on its restructuring. Sources said they were not handling Vivat's sale as Anbang wanted independent advice on its European disposals.
Anbang bought Vivat – the insurance arm of the defunct SNS Reaal, nationalised by the Dutch government in 2013 – for a nominal EUR1 and a cash injection of EUR1.35bn.