SINGAPORE: Japanese insurers Dai-ichi Life Holdings Inc and Nippon Life Insurance Co are among the firms considering bids for Tokio Marine Holdings Inc’s life insurance business in Southeast Asia, according to people familiar with the matter.
Dai-ichi Life and Nippon Life are working with financial advisers as they weigh making non-binding bids for the assets, which include Tokio Marine’s businesses in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, the people said.
While other insurance companies have expressed interest in some specific markets, Tokio Marine’s preference is to sell the assets as a package, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private.
Tokio Marine has been gauging interest in the assets, which could be valued at about US$1 billion, Bloomberg News reported in April. Non-binding bids for the assets are due over the coming weeks, the people said.
Japanese financial services firms have been eyeing assets in Southeast Asia as a way to expand and diversify outside of Japan. In June, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc’s main banking unit, together with its PT Adira Dinamika Multi Finance unit, agreed to acquire an 80.6% stake in Indonesian car loan company PT Mandala Multifinance for about ¥66 billion (US$453 million).
Considerations are preliminary, no final decisions have been made and the companies could still decide against pursuing a deal, the people said.
Representatives for Dai-ichi Life, Nippon Life and Tokio Marine declined to comment.
Tokio Marine was founded in 1879 as Japan’s first non-life insurance company, according to its website. The company began direct underwriting operations in London, Paris and New York a year later.
It now offers both life and non-life insurance and operates in 46 countries beyond Japan. International business accounts for 54% of its profits.