Sat, Mar 19, 2011 - Page 12 News List

Taishin, MassMutual get bid approvals

By Kevin Chen  /  Staff Reporter

Taishin Financial Holdings Co (台新金控) and MassMutual Mercuries Life Insurance Co (三商美邦人壽保險) said yesterday their respective boards had approved plans to acquire MetLife Taiwan Insurance Co (大都會人壽), making the companies the latest bidders interested in the local unit of US-based MetLife Inc.

In a statement to the Taiwan Stock Exchange, Taishin Financial said it was bidding to purchase all the shares held by MetLife in its Taiwanese business. MassMutual Mercuries said in a separate filing that it was also placing the bid for MetLife Taiwan.

However, the two companies did not provide the financial terms of their purchases.

Waterland Financial Holdings Co (國票金控), the smallest financial holding firm in Taiwan, announced a plan to acquire MetLife Taiwan for US$112.5 million in April last year.

However, the company dropped the plan in November after the Financial Supervisory Commission rejected its acquisition application because it lacked sufficient funding and experience in running an insurance company.

Since then, several local financial firms have reportedly been interested in owning an insurer or expanding their business.

Apart from Taishin Financial and MassMutual Mercuries, Yuanta Financial Holdings Co (元大金控), which owns the nation’s largest securities brokerage, and Chinatrust Financial Holding Co (中信金控), which owns the nation’s biggest credit card issuer, were also cited by local Chinese-language media as potential buyers.

Taishin Financial and MassMutual Mercuries' bids for MetLife Taiwan come two months after Ruen Chen Investment Holding Co (潤成投資) inked a deal to buy American International Group Inc’s Taiwanese unit, Nan Shan Life Insurance Co (南山人壽), for US$2.16 billion. The Financial Supervisory Commission said earlier this month it would make a decision in the first half of this year on Ruen Chen’s application.

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