Millea Holdings Inc., Japan’s largest general insurer, announced plans to acquire the Japanese life business of Sweden’s Skandia Insurance Co. for 20 billion yen ($186 million) in early 2004.
“By acquiring Skandia’s know-how and infrastructure, we’ll be able to make a quick entry into the growing market for variable annuities in Japan,” the company said in a statement.
Millea was formed as a holding company to join Tokio Marine & Fire and Nichido Marine & Fire. The two companies plan a formal merger of their operations next year. The Japanese P/C market is highly competitive, and therefore the company has been looking for opportunities to expand its life business.
The sale of Skandia’s Japanese life unit is another retreat by the group in its global operations after it sold its U.S. business a year ago in order to reduce outstanding debts.
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