Nippon Life Said to Target NAB Insurance Unit Deal This Month

Nippon Life Insurance Co., Japan’s biggest life insurer by assets, may pay 200 billion yen ($1.7 billion) to 300 billion yen for the insurance business of National Australia Bank Ltd., and is targeting an agreement this month, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

The negotiations could still fall apart, said the person, asking not to be named as deliberations are private. National Australia spokeswoman Emily Ritchie declined to comment.

“Nothing has been decided at this moment,” Nippon Life’s Tokyo-based spokesman Shinichiro Kon said.

Japanese insurers have been on a takeover binge overseas as they try to counter an aging population at home that is crimping their growth prospects. Their acquisitions abroad nearly quadrupled this year to $23.6 billion, from $6 billion for the same period in 2014, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Among the deals, MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings Inc. said it agreed to buy Lloyd’s of London insurer Amlin Plc, Sumitomo Life Insurance Co. agreed to buy Symetra Financial Corp. in the U.S. and Tokio Marine Holdings Inc. said it agreed to purchase HCC Insurance Holdings Inc., also in the U.S.

Osaka-based Nippon Life is also merging with Mitsui Life Insurance Co. to position itself as the country’s biggest earner of insurance premium income. Nippon Life is not publicly traded.

Kyodo News reported the timing and price for the National Australia deal earlier Wednesday.

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