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Taiwan Life Insurance Shareholders Vote Against CTBC Acquisition

Taiwan Life Insurance Co. shareholders voted against the acquisition by CTBC Financial Holding Co., opening opportunities for other possible suitors.

Shareholders objected to the planned stock swap with CTBC, the Taipei-based insurer said in a statement to the Taiwan stock exchange. Whether the deal will be terminated will be determined by the newly elected board, Taiwan Life Vice President Taishan Chen said at a briefing in the city today.

Cancellation of the planned NT$26.6 billion ($886 million) acquisition would mean the insurer remains under control of Long Bon International Co., which controls six of the nine board seats elected today, Chen said. He said he had no knowledge if any potential investors, including Chanceton Financial Group Ltd., have approached Taiwan Life for alliances and stake purchases.

Chanceton Financial, whose chairman is Macau casino scion Maisy Ho, was seeking to invest in Taichung, Taiwan-based Long Bon, Taiwan’s Business Today magazine reported in its April 14-20 issue.

Taiwan Life fell 3.5 percent to close at NT$20.9 in Taipei after the shareholders’ vote. CTBC, Taiwan’s fourth-largest publicly traded financial company, closed unchanged NT$19.40.

CTBC respects Taiwan Life’s decision, CTBC said in a separate statement to the stock exchange. Two calls to Taiwan Life Insurance President Lin Chin-miao’s office went unanswered.

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