FWD Group formalizes investment agreement with Swiss Re

By Marc Castro

Oct 16, 2013 05:11 PM EDT

An investment worth USD425 million was agreed upon between Swiss Re and FWD Group, HK entrepreneur Richard Li's insurance firm. This was confirmed by the Swiss reinsurer last Wednesday.

Swiss Re was acquiring 12.3% of FWD for an undisclosed amount and would provide expertise and assistance in funding FWD's expansion all across Asia. This was also confirmed in the issued statement from the Swiss reinsurer.

Ultimately, according to Swiss Re, the ultimate ownership stake in FWD would be determined by the amount of committed capital deployed under the current arrangement. From there, a new share arrangement would be determined between the parties.

Li is the younger son of Li Ka-shing, Asia's richest man. He acquired ING Groep's Hong Kong, Macau and Thailand insurance units for about USD2.1 billion in cash. This purchase marked his return to the industry he left behind back in 2007. The acquired insurance units were renamed as FWD just this August 2013.

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