Shinhan Financial Group buys BNP Paribas Cardif General Insurance
Shinhan Financial Group has purchased BNP Paribas Cardif General Insurance, a money losing non-life insurance company, to get access to a key business in which it does not have a presence.
Shinhan Life, which is wholly owned by the group, owned 5.46 percent of the acquisition target. In the transaction announced Monday, Shinhan Financial Group bought the rest of the company from BNP Paribas Cardif.
A share purchase agreement was signed on Friday for Shinhan Financial Group to buy the 94.54 percent stake not owned by its life insurance subsidiary.
The shares were acquired for around 40 billion won ($34 million), industry sources told the Korea JoongAng Daily Monday.
BNP Paribas Cardif General Insurance was formed in 2014, with Shinhan Life, AXA and BNP Paribas Cardif as shareholders.
Shinhan Financial Group said it hopes to get a foothold in the non-life insurance business with the new acquisition and create synergies with its existing life insurance unit.
While the company has presences in a wide range of businesses, including banking, securities, asset management and life insurance, it has not had its own unit dedicated to non-life insurance. KB Financial Group, currently the largest banking group in the country by net profit, has both life and non-life businesses.
BNP Paribas Cardif General Insurance, which specializes in auto insurance, will become the 17th subsidiary of Shinhan Financial Group.
The company said it plans to invest in the newly acquired unit to make it a digital non-life insurer. Partnerships with digital start-ups are being considered.
In 2020, BNP Paribas Cardif General Insurance posted an 11.7-billion-won net losses. In 2019, the company lost 14.5 billion won on a net basis.
BY KIM JEE-HEE [email@example.com]