Anbang will buy majority in Tong Yang insuranceAnbang Insurance Group, which bought New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel, will buy a controlling stake in Korea’s Tong Yang Life Insurance for 1.13 trillion won ($1 billion).
Anbang, based in Beijing, will buy 67.8 million shares at 16,700 won apiece from Korean buyout firm Vogo Fund LP and two other shareholders, Tong Yang said in a regulatory filing. Anbang will pay an additional 33.9 billion won if certain conditions are fulfilled, Tong Yang said, without providing specifics.
The deal marks the second cross-border investment by Anbang announced publicly in as many days. It’s the latest in a series of acquisitions by a company that people familiar with the matter said in November is planning an initial public offering that could raise about $2 billion.
“It looks to me like they’re going on a spending spree to get in the news ahead of a huge global IPO,” said Andrew Clarke, director of trading at Mirabaud Securities Asia in Hong Kong. “That would be my guess. It’s making these acquisitions ahead of a London, New York, Hong Kong and Shanghai listing.”
Anbang has transactions pending in Europe, Asia, Oceania and Africa, Chairman and Chief Executive Wu Xiaohui said at a Harvard University recruitment event last month, according to a transcript posted on the People’s Daily website in China.
Tong Yang closed 3 percent higher at 11,850 won in Seoul on Tuesday, taking its climb this year to 10 percent. The number of shares being sold to Anbang represents about 63 percent of Tongyang’s outstanding stock.