SoftBank negotiates to acquire a stake in the insurance giant Swiss Re
Japanese SoftBank Group negotiates to acquire a stake in the insurance giant Swiss Re, which could reach a cost of more than 10 billion USD. According to the information, it is a purchase with a premium of up to one third of the insurer’s shares, which are just over 90 CHF (95 USD), which makes the market valuation of the company 31 billion CHF (33 billion USD).
Swiss Re has confirmed to the US newspaper that preliminary negotiations are under way for “a possible minority investment”. However, they were at an early stage.
But sources point out that the discussions are at an advanced stage, and the leadership of the Swiss company has traveled to Tokyo in recent weeks to hold personal meetings with SoftBank representatives, including Chief Executive Officer Masayoshi Son.
The negotiations are another sign of director’s ambitions, trying to give the Japanese telecom giant a new impetus, relying on a broad portfolio of online trading, unmanned vehicles and virtual reality.
In 2017, SoftBank completed with fundraising for its 100 billion USD venture capital fund and also invested billions of dollars in private startup companies including Uber Technologies. OneWeb, Shared Workplace WeWork Cos. Only last year Softbank has made about 100 investments worth 36 billion USD.
In 2016, Softbank acquired 32 billion USD in British chip maker ARM Holdings. In recent months, Softbank has been known for its investments in technology companies, and has also acquired a stake in Didi Chuxing and Ola.
It is still unclear whether the money for Swiss Re will come from SoftBank itself or will be taken from the Vision Fund.
Despite its technological profile, the Japanese company is not investing in the financial sector for the first time. Last year, for example, the Japanese telecoms group acquired the US investment firm Fortress Investment Group in a $ 3.3 billion USD deal. SoftBank also holds stakes in financial launches in America and China.
If a deal is reached, it will start a new chapter for the 155-year-old Swiss Re. As of June 30, the company has assets of 224 billion USD, making it one of the largest reinsurers in the world.
According to sources, SoftBank hopes through technology innovation to offer Swiss Re products directly to consumers, replacing brokers. The company also indicated that the deal would retain the public insurer’s status and protect its credit rating AA.