SoftBank seeking seats on Swiss Re’s board

Leaders of the two firms reportedly set to meet soon and work out a deal

SoftBank seeking seats on Swiss Re’s board

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

SoftBank is seeking to occupy board seats at Swiss Re, revealing its plans regarding a potential stake purchase in the global reinsurer.

The Japanese telecommunications and technology conglomerate is reportedly looking at buying a 20-30% stake in Swiss Re, the Financial Times reported, citing sources with different estimates of the potential deal.

SoftBank founder and CEO Masayoshi Son is set to meet with Swiss Re chairman Walter Kielholz soon in order to work out an agreement, the report said, adding that the investment would come from SoftBank itself, instead of its investment arm.

The reinsurer had earlier confirmed that the two companies are in touch and that negotiations are at a very early stage. If the deal pushes through, this would give SoftBank access to the massive cash flow typical of many reinsurance companies, as well as give it a say in how Swiss Re would manage its portfolio, worth US$161 billion.

UBS Group AG is advising SoftBank on the deal, while its counterpart on Swiss Re’s side is Credit Suisse Group AG, the FT report said.

The proposed deal comes at a critical time for the reinsurance sector, as the influx of new capital has led to several years of falling prices (and profits).

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