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Chinese buyers target foreign insurance companies

Updated: 2016-07-27 11:22

Chinese buyers target foreign insurance companies

A stevedore works at Qingdao port in Shandong province, July 1, 2015. [Photo/IC]

Chinese buyers looking for overseas acquisitions are now adding a new item to their list of potential takeover targets, - insurance companies, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

Three leading bidders for Singapore-based Asia Capital Reinsurance Group Pte Ltd all obtained capital support from China, the journal said.

Foresea Life Insurance Co, a company founded just four years ago, is most likely to win the bidding war, people familiar with the matter told the newspaper.

The other bidders include a consortium comprising China Taiping Insurance Holdings Co, Hong Kong's Mason Financial Holdings Ltd and Peak Reinsurance Co, controlled by Fosun International Ltd.

Dealogic data showed that so far this year Chinese buyers have announced seven overseas insurance deals, with total value of $1.86 billion. That compared with three deals valued at $4.44 billion a year ago. Prior to 2014, the insurance sector went several years without deals.

Chinese companies have been on an outbound acquisition spree this year, covering real estate, hotels, movie studios, healthcare, soccer clubs, chemicals and high-end technology.

Recent deals include Chinese home appliance maker Midea Group Co Ltd obtained 85.7 percent of shares in German industrial robot maker Kuka in its 4.5 billion euros takeover bid.

Last month, a Chinese consortium agreed to buy an initial 70 percent stake in Italian Series A soccer club AC Milan, with negotiations continuing over the sale of the remaining 30 percent.

Chinese outbound M&A activity has more than doubled in two years, hitting a record $120 billion in total deal value so far in 2016, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Agencies contributed to this story.

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