UCF backs First Ori­gin’s Hong Kong Life pur­chase

New Straits Times - - Business -

BEI­JING: China UCF Group Co is back­ing the ac­qui­si­tion of Hong Kong Life In­sur­ance Ltd in a deal valu­ing the in­surer at US$914 mil­lion (RM4.04 bil­lion).

Hong Kong Life’s own­ers agreed to sell their hold­ings to First Ori­gin In­ter­na­tional Ltd.

It didn’t dis­close the buyer’s ul­ti­mate share­hold­ers.

UCF Group was the owner of First Ori­gin, said a spokesman for Hong Kong Life. First Ori­gin’s share­hold­ers could still change to al­low mi­nor­ity part­ners to join UCF Group in the Hong Kong Life pur­chase, said UCF.

The com­pany agreed to con­tinue dis­tribut­ing Hong Kong Life’s poli­cies on a non-ex­clu­sive ba­sis through the branch net­works of most of the banks that pre­vi­ously con­trolled the in­surer, said a source.

UCF’s deal marks at least the third at­tempt by a main­land fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion to buy a Hong Kong in­surer as they seek to cater to surg­ing de­mand for off­shore in­sur­ance-linked prod­ucts.

The buyer will need to get reg­u­la­tory ap­proval at a time of ris­ing scru­tiny on over­seas deal­mak­ing af­ter the US$247.9 bil­lion wave of for­eign ac­qui­si­tions last year by China firms. Bloomberg

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