Fosun Group

Fosun acquires 20pc of Ironshore for US$463.83m as it continues insurance push

PUBLISHED : Monday, 18 August, 2014, 10:04am
UPDATED : Monday, 18 August, 2014, 10:04am

Shanghai-based Fosun International has stepped up its investment in the global insurance industry with the announcement that it is acquiring a 20 per cent stake in Ironshore for about US$463.83 million.

Ironshore provides broker-sourced commercial property and casualty coverage through platforms in countries including Australia, Canada and Singapore.

Fosun chairman Guo Guangchang said the deal would further expand the group’s insurance business and strengthen its ability to access long-term, high-quality capital.

Fosun has been seeking to establish insurance as its core business and develop it as one of the group’s key growth engines.

In May, it completed the €1 billion (HK$10.38 billion) acquisition of 80 per cent of three Portuguese state-owned insurers, Fidelidade-Companhia de Seguros, Multicare-Seguros de Saude and Cares-Companhia de Seguros, beating an offer from Apollo Global Investment of the United States.

Ironshore’s net profit after tax and extraordinary items last year was US$97.54 million, compared with US$131.58 million in 2012, according to the announcement.

Apart from insurance, Fosun has been aggressively acquiring diversified businesses, including the acquisition of Australian-listed oil company Roc Oil for A$489 million (HK$3.52 billion) early this month.

In March, Fosun was part of a consortium that acquired German private bank BHF Bank for €354 million, of which €98.5 million came from Fosun.

The aggressive expansion has prompted ratings agency Moody’s to express concern that the huge debt that has been financing its overseas deals is hurting the Hong Kong-listed firm’s financial strength.

Not all Fosun’s deals have borne fruit.

Last week, Gaillon Invest, an investment vehicle formed by Fosun and French private equity firm Adrian, said it would withdraw its offer for resort operator Club Mediterranee after the French regulator gave the go-ahead to a rival bid.