News eDaily10 Jul 2017

Thailand:Talks over US$3bln M&A deal for insurer falls through

10 Jul 2017

Thailand's Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) has put off a potential US$3 billion sale of its insurance unit as talks with suitor FWD Group of Hong Kong failed on valuation disagreements, reported Reuters citing three people familiar with the matter.

FWD, owned by tycoon Mr Richard Li, the youngest son of Hong Kong's richest man, Mr Li Ka-shing, had been holding discussions with SCB, Thailand's third biggest lender, on the proposed deal for SCB Life Assurance for at least three months.

One of the people said that differences over using SCB's vast branch network to sell insurance products after the completion of the deal was partly responsible for the stalemate between the two companies. The person declined to give details.

It was not immediately clear if the Thai bank will relaunch the sale. Both SCB and FWD declined to comment, while the sources declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter.

At $3 billion, the acquisition would have been the largest ever insurance M&A transaction in Southeast Asia, and the biggest in Asia since August 2016, according to Thomson Reuters data.

The takeover of the unit would have helped FWD expand its existing wholly owned insurance business in Thailand, which started in 2012 and had total assets of about THB74.7 billion (US$2.2 billion) at the end of 2015.


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