China-based Anbang Insurance Group is set to offload its entire stake in a Chinese health insurance business called Hexie Health Insurance for an undisclosed price.
The Chinese government, which holds a controlling stake in Anbang, has been speeding up sale of assets of the insurance conglomerate, reported Reuters.
The insurance group, through its property and casualty insurance subsidiary, will sell 77.7% of its stake in the health insurance business, and the remaining stake to private commerce company Fujia Group and four other companies.
Fujia Group will acquire a controlling stake of 51% in Hexie Health Insurance. The deals will be subject to approval from the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC).
In February 2018, the Chinese government seized control of Anbang after the latter was alleged to have breached laws and regulations which could seriously endanger the solvency of the company, as per a statement from the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC).
The insurance conglomerate’s chairman at that time – Wu Xiaohui, who was also a key shareholder in the firm, was arrested in June 2017 on charges of fraud and embezzlement.
Subsequently, the government had also created a new insurer called Dajia Insurance Group in June 2019 to take over Anbang’s operations.
Prior to that, in early June, Anbang signed a deal to sell its entire stake in Dutch insurance company VIVAT to Athora, a Europe focussed specialised insurance and reinsurance group, for an undisclosed price.
Upon completion of the deal, Athora will sell VIVAT Schadeverzekeringen (VIVAT Schade), the non-life business of VIVAT, to NN Group, for £370.2m.
Last week, CBIRC vice chairman Liang Tao revealed to reporters that more than ¥1tn (£0.12tn) worth assets of Anbang had been or were in the process of being offloaded.
Liang, has been quoted by Reuters, as saying: “For the next step, the takeover team will steadily introduce strategic investors to Anbang and push forward its restructuring.”
Anbang, which was founded in 2004 by Wu Xiaohui, began operations as regional car insurance company. The insurance group employs more than 30,000 people, and is engaged in providing various insurance and financial products through its subsidiaries.