Zurich Insurance Seeks $943 Million for China Sale

Zurich Insurance Group AG (ZURN) is selling its entire stake in New China Life Insurance Co. for $943 million, or HK$25 a share, according to the terms of the deal obtained by Bloomberg News.

Switzerland’s biggest insurer is offering 292.5 million New China Life (1336) shares, representing 9.4 percent of the total issued share capital of the Chinese company, the terms show.

Zurich Insurance sold 97.5 million shares in the third-largest Chinese life insurer by premium income in July, causing the stock to drop 6.4 percent, and booked a gain of $441 million in 2011 after selling an initial 5 percent stake to China International Capital Corp. and Nomura Securities Co. The sale reflected a “desire to manage our financial exposure to a business we do not control,” Zurich Insurance said at the time.

The insurer said it agreed to sell 52.3 percent of today’s share sale to an unidentified investor, while also entering into a placing agreement with investment banks for the remainder, according to an e-mailed statement from the Zurich-based insurer. The company said it plans to complete the sale on Nov. 25.

To contact the reporter on this story: Carolyn Bandel in Zurich at cbandel@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net

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