China’s Fosun Considers Sale of German Insurer Frankfurter Leben: Sources

By , and | January 16, 2020

Chinese conglomerate Fosun International Ltd. is exploring options including a potential sale for its German insurance business Frankfurter Leben Holding GmbH, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Fosun has held talks with potential advisers about options for Frankfurter Leben, which is a specialized consolidator of life-insurance portfolios, according to the people. The review is at an early stage, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

The acquisitive Shanghai-based company has been slowing its pace of overseas dealmaking. Fosun announced $351 million of acquisitions last year, down from $9.2 billion in 2014, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Billionaire founder Guo Guangchang recently asked Fosun’s top executives to focus on China and stop expanding into new markets overseas.

No final decisions have been made, and Fosun could still decide to keep the business, the people said. A representative for Fosun declined to comment.

Shares of Fosun International fell 1.2% as of 10:06 a.m. in Hong Kong, while the benchmark Hang Seng Index slipped 0.4%.

Firms such as Frankfurter Leben buy legacy life-insurance assets from other insurers seeking offload policies that are less profitable in the current low-interest-rate environment. The company, led by Bernd Neumann, managed about 9.3 billion euros ($10.3 billion) of investments at the end of 2018, according to its financial statements.

Frankfurter Leben reported 13.4 million euros of net income that year. The company has about 200 employees who manage around 700,000 insurance contracts, its website shows.

Fosun is among parties considering a purchase of German private bank Bankhaus Lampe KG, which is owned by the billionaire Oetker family, Bloomberg News reported in October. It already owns another wealth manager in the country, Hauck & Aufhaeuser Privatbankiers AG.

–With assistance from Shirley Zhao.

Photograph: The logo of Fosun International is seen at a news conference in Hong Kong, China, on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018. Photographer: Paul Yeung/Bloomberg.

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