Bancassurance group Fortis has revealed that it is to purchase a majority stake in Pacific Century Insurance Holdings, a Hong Kong-based insurer, which will significantly accelerate Fortis' growth in Asia.

Under the agreement, Fortis will acquire a 50.48% stake in Pacific Century Insurance (PCI) for a total cash consideration of HKD3.5 billion, or HKD8.18 per share. The stake will be purchased from Pacific Century Regional Developments, in addition to other shareholders of PCI.

The Belgian-Dutch financial services company has confirmed that it will place an unconditional mandatory general offer at the same price upon the completion of the acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approval.

Peer van Harten, CEO of Fortis Insurance, commented: It offers a unique opportunity for Fortis to establish a solid platform in Hong Kong, and Fortis will leverage its product and distribution skills to further grow the business.