FWD mulls options for US$10 billion insurer after IPO delay: sources

FWD Group Holdings, the Asian insurer managed by billionaire Richard Li, is contemplating choices together with a possible stake sale after delaying a deliberate preliminary public providing (IPO), in line with sources acquainted with the matter.

The firm might search a valuation of greater than US$10 billion in any deal, the sources mentioned, asking to not be recognized as a result of the data is non-public. Global insurers together with Toronto-based Sun Life Financial have approached FWD to specific curiosity in a tie-up, the sources mentioned.

While talks with Sun Life hit a snag over value, different insurers eyeing an even bigger presence in South-east Asia and Hong Kong have additionally expressed preliminary curiosity in a possible deal, the sources mentioned. A contemporary strategic funding might present an exit to some long-standing FWD shareholders as an IPO is unlikely to occur anytime quickly as a consequence of market volatility, the sources added.

Should a deal go forward, FWD might use a part of the proceeds to cut back debt, whereas it stays targeted on boosting sustainable profitability and progress, the sources mentioned. Considerations are ongoing and should not result in any transaction, they mentioned.

A consultant for FWD declined to remark. A spokesperson for Sun Life mentioned the corporate’s observe is to not touch upon M&A hypothesis, including that the corporate is all the time in search of alternatives so as to add scale and capabilities that may assist meet its medium-term monetary targets, in addition to help its 4 strategic pillars in asset administration, Canada, United States and Asia.

Last 12 months, FWD thought-about a contemporary pre-IPO non-public funding spherical amid a delay of its deliberate Hong Kong itemizing, Bloomberg News reported in May. FWD had filed for a Hong Kong IPO thrice, most not too long ago in March 2023. Before that, the agency deserted a New York itemizing plan that would have raised as a lot as US$3 billion in 2021, sources acquainted with the matter have mentioned.

FWD was began in 2013 by Li, a Hong Kong tycoon who additionally runs PCCW, one of many metropolis’s main telecom corporations. The insurer has since expanded throughout Asia each organically and by way of acquisitions. Li’s funding car Pacific Century Group is the corporate’s majority shareholder. Minority traders embody Swiss Re, Apollo Global Management and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. BLOOMBERG