Hong Kong entrepreneur Richard Li's investment firm agreed to acquire America International Group's last remaining life-insurance business in Asia as the New York conglomerate continues to narrow its focus.
Mr. Li is the son of Li Ka-shing, one of Asia's richest men. The younger man's Pacific Century Group has financial services, technology, media, telecommunications and property holdings, and since 2013, its FWD Group has been expanding across Asia.
In the deal, Pacific Century is acquiring AIG Fuji Life Insurance Co. Ltd., in Japan, the companies said Monday. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
AIG, which has operated in Japan since 1946, will continue to focus on that country's property-and-casualty insurance market, underwriting policies for both businesses and consumers.
Before the 2008 global financial crisis, AIG was a sprawling financial-services behemoth with businesses including aircraft leasing and consumer lending. But it sold tens of billions of dollars of assets to fully repay its nearly $185 billion government bailout. Among divestitures: an international life-insurance unit sold to MetLife Inc., two Japanese life-insurance units sold to Prudential Financial Inc., and a pan-Asian life-insurance business, AIA Group Ltd., that was publicly listed.
Over the past year, AIG has ramped up streamlining, as billionaire investors Carl Icahn and John Paulson have pushed it to more speedily improve financial results.
Last month, for instance, AIG agreed to sell some Latin American and European property-and-casualty insurance operations to Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. Total cash consideration in that transaction is about $240 million.
FWD has operations in Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam, offering life, medical and other insurance policies as well as employee benefits.
"AIG Fuji Life is a strong foundation for FWD's entry to Japan," said Huynh Thanh Phong, FWD Group Chief Executive Officer in a news release.
This isn't Pacific Century's first dealings with AIG. In 2009, the firm struck a deal to acquire investment advisory and asset-management businesses from AIG for approximately $500 million, when the insurer was still under government control.
In a memo to employees, AIG Chief Executive Peter Hancock said that the sale of AIG FujiLife "is consistent with the way we are reshaping the AIG of the future by focusing our resources on markets, products and customers where we have critical mass and expertise."
The transaction is scheduled to close in the first half of 2017, subject to regulatory approvals.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 14, 2016 18:25 ET (23:25 GMT)
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