Hong Kong – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – The Hong Kong office of international law firm Clifford Chance is advising Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance, one of the largest non-life insurers in Japan, on its acquisition of Taiwanese non-life insurer, Mingtai Fire & Marine Insurance, for NTD$8.4 billion (US$273.6 million) in cash. The deal represents the first sale by the Taiwanese government to a foreign buyer in the insurance sector.
Mingtai is a wholly-owned subsidiary of government-owned First Financial Holding Co., Ltd., Taiwan’s fourth largest financial service provider by assets. This transaction is significant in light of the Taiwanese government’s recent attempts to encourage consolidation in Taiwan’s financial sector, as it represents the first sale of a business by a Taiwanese financial holding company.
Definitive agreements were signed on 22 April 2005 and the transaction, which is subject to various regulatory approvals in addition to seller’s shareholders’ approval, is expected to close in the summer.
Commenting on the deal, Roger Denny, Head of M&A, Asia, of Clifford Chance said:
“We are delighted to have assisted Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance in yet another strategic acquisition. There has been keen interest in potential M&A activity in the financial sector in Taiwan and this is one of the first deals to actually happen.”
The Clifford Chance team was led by partner Roger Denny, with assistance from senior associate Simon Bell, and associates Vivian Yiu and Richard Lee (all Hong Kong). Taiwanese legal advice was provided by Echo Yeh, Mike Lu and Kate Po of Lexcel Partners. HSBC were financial advisers to Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance in connection with the acquisition.
Clifford Chance also advised Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance on the acquisition of Aviva plc’s general insurance business in Asia. Completion of that deal took place in several of the jurisdictions on 1 March 2005, with further completions scheduled in due course.