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‘Anbang to hire advisors for asset or stake sale’
Posted on Friday, 13 April 2018 08:44
Chinese conglomerate Anbang Insurance is believed to be interviewing banks ahead of potential asset divestments, as well as a possible introduction of private capital via an equity injection from strategic investors. Bloomberg first reported the news the troubled group - seized by the government and whose former chairman went on trial for fraud earlier this month - is aiming to hire an advisor for the mooted upcoming series of disposals. A source with knowledge of the matter, who declined to be named as the process is confidential, told the news provider Anbang and the country’s banking and insurance regulator listened to pitches earlier this month. The sector watchdog did not immediately respond when contacted by Bloomberg for comment, while the once-acquisitive indemnity provider said it is not planning to sell assets. Industry-funded body China Insurance Security has already given Anbang a CNY 60.80 billion (USD 9.67 billion) bailout to ensure the company’s solvency and protect the interests of policyholders and consumers. Bloomberg noted the injection is merely meant to tide the protection provider over until the government, and the chosen advisor or advisers, can find a long-term investor. The seizure in February marked an unprecedented move on a major non-state-owned company by China, which is cracking down on risks to the country’s financial system. Anbang’s acquisition streak has taken the insurer across to North America, where it bought the Waldorf Astoria for USD 1.95 billion and Strategic Hotels and Resorts for USD 6.50 billion from Blackstone, and Canada’s largest retirement homes chain, Retirement Concepts. Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk, also shows the spending spree has extended to Europe, with the purchase of Delta Lloyd Bank, and Asia with Tongyang Life Insurance of South Korea, among others. © Zephus Ltd