Japanese telecommunications company SoftBank is in talks to acquire a minority stake in Swiss Re in a deal which is expected to be worth $10bn.

The companies are in preliminary discussions, which are at a very early stage.

Swiss Re said there is no certainty that any transaction will be agreed, nor as to the terms, timing, or form of any agreement.

SoftBank has been diversifying its investments recently. Till now, it has invested in ride-hailing, chip-making, office-sharing, satellite-building, robot-building and also in indoor kale-farming. Investing in Swiss Re is said to be the company’s foray into the financial sector.

The Japanese firm has created a 10 trillion yen (($91.4bn) investment vehicle called the SoftBank Vision Fund in 2016. Last year, SoftBank invested $120m in New York-based insurance start-up Lemonade. It also acquired stake in ZhongAn, a Chinese insurance start-up.

Presently, Swiss Re has total assets of about $224bn. In 2016, it reported a net income of $3.6bn, but this year’s results are claimed to be lesser due to the impact of hurricanes that hit the US and the Caribbean last year.

The company offers reinsurance services which provide insurance services to insurers. 

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son was quoted by the Financial Times as saying: “The sweet spot is to attain a 20% to 30% stake. In that way, it’s easy to assemble a coalition of number one companies. That’s my strategy to continue to grow for the next 300 years.”

Image: SoftBank Hankyu-Ibaraki, Futabacho Ibaraki-City Osaka Japan. Photo: Courtesy of Kirakirameister/Wikipedia.org.