Korean firms, JP life insurers among bidders for Tokio Marine’s Southeast businesses

Industry sources said that information memoranda will be sent to potential buyers later this month

Korean firms, JP life insurers among bidders for Tokio Marine’s Southeast businesses

Life & Health

By Kenneth Araullo

Major Korean insurers and two Japanese life insurers are among the bidders looking to purchase Tokio Marine’s billion-dollar businesses in Southeast Asia, according to industry sources.

The Japanese insurer is reportedly approaching Korea’s large insurers and other financial companies in the country to gauge interest in Tokio Marine’s businesses in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia.

According to a report from Korea Economic Daily, Tokio Marine is planning to send information memoranda to potential buyers both at home and abroad as early as later this August. It was already reported that Goldman Sachs and Jefferies will oversee the sale.

The potential sale is also timely as South Korean insurers are looking to grow their overseas portfolio due to a stagnating domestic market with an aging population and lower birth rates.

Across multiple major insurers in the country that have shown interest, Hanwha Life is being touted as a strong candidate as the latter is looking to expand its presence across the Southeast. A company official for Hanwha has confirmed that the insurer received a takeover offer, but it has not yet been considered at this time.

“Hanwha Life emerged as a strong candidate for the acquisition of Tokio Marine’s Southeast Asian units as the company started focusing on an M&A after realizing that it needs considerable time and investment to establish a new unit,” a Seoul industry insider said.

Dai-ichi and Nippon Life also considering bids

Meanwhile, across the sea, two Japanese life insurers are also considering bids for Tokio Marine’s businesses in the Southeast: Dai-ichi Life and Nippon Life.

Both are reportedly working with financial advisers as they mull over non-binding bids for the assets, according to industry insiders. A report from Bloomberg said that while other insurers have expressed interest in specific markets, Tokio Marine prefers to sell the Southeast Asian businesses as a complete, one-off deal.

Much like in South Korea, Japanese financial firms have also been considering acquisitions in the region to expand their portfolio outside the country.

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