Fosun has made another addition to its expanding portfolio of insurance assets after acquiring a majority 52.31% stake in Israeli insurer and financial services firm Phoenix Holdings Ltd for just over NIS1.76bn ($461.2m).
Phoenix came into existence in 1949 and operates in both the insurance and wider financial services sectors. On the insurance side of its business, it offers products in the life, non-life health and long-term savings sectors. Within Israel, it is ranked third in life and fourth in non-life with market shares of 16% and 14% respectively.
“We believe that this investment can further expand Fosun’s overseas insurance and investment operations. Meanwhile, it can also bring synergies alongside our insurance and reinsurance businesses, as well as to strengthen the group’s capability to access high-quality long-term capital.
“In addition, Fosun can help Phoenix seize growth opportunities in Israel’s insurance market and help them explore business in other markets. We fully believe in Phoenix’s management team and are committed to continuing to support their long-term vision for the company.”
Fosun’s acquisition of Phoenix means the firm, which is the largest privately held conglomerate within China, now has seven insurance industry assets within its investment portfolio.
Its first move into the re/insurance space occurred in 2008 when it bought a stake in Xi’an-based Yong’An P&C Insurance. Since then, the company has spent billions of dollars on expanding its international portfolio of re/insurance industry assets.
Fosun’s current portfolio of insurance entities includes the largest insurance group in Portugal - Fidelidade, Yong’an P&C Insurance, Pramerica Fosun Life Insurance, Peak Reinsurance, Ironshore, Meadowbrook Insurance Group and now Phoenix.
It was also rumoured to be in the offing for Montpelier Re, although it is understood the Chinese firm withdrew its bid before the Bermudian business was ultimately acquired by Endurance.
However, as Wang Qunbin, president and chief executive officer of Fosun International, told Reactions in May, the company will continue to look at further opportunities in the re/insurance sector over the coming months, with new additions expected to be made to its portfolio before the end of the year. Furthermore, Fosun is looking at opportunities to move into the run-off or legacy space.