Tue, Dec 14, 2010 - Page 12 News List

Report says newest Nan Shan bidder is government-backed

Staff writer, with CNA

Nan Shan Life Insurance Co (南山人壽), a Taiwan-based subsidiary owned by American International Group (AIG), declined yesterday to confirm the total number of companies involved in bidding to buy the firm after an anonymous buyer was reported to have made an offer.

According to a report in yesterday’s edition of the Chinese-language Economic Daily News, a government-funded buyer directly filed a bid of about NT$91.7 billion (US$3 billion) with AIG’s headquarters in the US earlier this month.

Market sources said the new buyer is likely to be either Taiwan Financial Holdings Co (台灣金控) or First Financial Holding Co (第一金控), according to the newspaper. However, both companies categorically denied being involved.

CONFIDENTIAL

Nan Shan spokeswoman Amanda Chou (周佳容) told reporters on the sidelines of a charity event that she could not confirm the total number of companies that have submitted bids due to confidentiality agreements signed between AIG and the prospective buyers.

On Dec. 3, two of the nation’s major financial service providers, Cathay Financial Holdings Co (國泰金控) and Chinatrust Financial Holding Co (中信金控), said in a statement to the Taiwan Stock Exchange that they had decided to bid for AIG’s 97.57 percent stake in Nan Shan.

FUBON

Fubon Financial Holding Co (富邦金控), the country’s second--largest financial services provider said it had also tendered a bid.

Ruenchen Investment Holding Co (潤成投資控股), a new joint venture created for the purpose of the bid by Ruentex Industries Ltd (潤泰全球), Ruentex Development Co (潤泰創新) and Pou Chen Corp (寶成工業), also said in a stock exchange statement that it had joined the bidding process.

SECOND TRY

Local news reports said that Primus Financial Holdings (博智金融), a Hong Kong-based firm whose winning bid for Nan Shan in an earlier attempted sale last year was rejected in October by the Financial Supervisory Commission, would submit its bid again.

Established in 1963, Nan Shan has a net worth of NT$140.3 billion, accounting for more than 30 percent of the local life insurance market.

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