China’s Anbang Insurance to Recapitalize Vivat, Former SNS Reaal Unit

By Corina Ruhe and Fred Pals | February 17, 2015

Anbang Insurance Group Co., which bought New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel, will increase the capital of Dutch insurer Vivat by as much as 1 billion euros ($1.14 billion) after agreeing to buy the company.

Anbang, based in Beijing, won Dutch government approval to purchase and recapitalize Vivat, the former insurance arm of seized bank SNS Reaal NV, Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said. It will buy the firm for 150 million euros and also repay 552 million euros that Vivat borrowed from SNS, he said in a statement to parliament.

Anbang, which won regulatory approval this month to acquire the Waldorf from Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. for $1.95 billion, says it has transactions pending in Europe, Asia, Oceania and Africa.

Vivat has more than 6 million insurance policies earning gross proceeds of 3 billion euros, according to Dijsselbloem. It employs 4,000 people.

Anbang bought Belgian insurer Fidea NV in October and agreed to purchase the Belgian banking operations of Delta Lloyd NV in December. The company has agreed to buy a majority stake in Tong Yang Life Insurance Co., Korea Economic Daily reported. It is planning an initial public offering that could raise about $2 billion, people familiar with the matter said in November.

Dutch Disposals

The sale of Vivat follows the 1.54 billion euros that ING Groep NV raised in an initial public offering of insurer NN Group NV in July.

The Netherlands, which seized Vivat’s parent in 2013 and spent more than 95 billion euros in capital and guarantees over the past seven years to bail out the finance industry, is also seeking to dispose of insurer ASR Nederland NV. ASR decided not to proceed with a bid for Vivat with a consortium of investors, it said in a statement.

ABN Amro and JPMorgan Chase & Co. were advising SNS on the Vivat sale. ASR is being advised by UBS Group AG. State-run agency NLFI, which controls the shares of ABN Amro, earlier this month selected 26 firms including Goldman Sachs Group Inc and JPMorgan Chase & Co to manage transactions.

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