Published: Sat, February 10, 2018
Business | By Max Garcia

Swiss Re opens talks with possible investor

Swiss Re opens talks with possible investor

Zurich-based reinsurance giant Swiss Re is in talks with Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group regarding a potential minority investment in the reinsurer, according to a February 7 statement.

SoftBank Group Corp.'s Chief Executive Officer Masayoshi Son is warming to an industry that's always been a favorite of billionaires looking to diversify their business empires.

The talks still could fall apart and there might not be a deal, the newspaper said.

Reinsurer Swiss Re spikes on a possible $10 billion Softbank stake
Swiss Re in talks with SoftBank, Japanese firm could take minority stake

A report by The Wall Street Journal, however, described the talks with SoftBank Group advanced, with the reinsurance giant's management said to have met recently with top officials in Tokyo - including SoftBank chairman and chief executive Masayoshi Son. The transaction size is expected to be worth $7 billion. The Japanese conglomerate has made investments in businesses including ride-hailing, chipmaking, office-sharing, satellite-building, robot-making and even indoor kale-farming.

Softbank also announced it plans a share offering of its Japanese telecoms business, to raise more cash for further investments. It is the world's second-largest reinsurer.

The deal under discussion is for the purchase of up to a third of Swiss Re's shares at a premium, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier, citing sources familiar with the matter. Its American depositary receipts soared 8.7 percent to $25.75 in NY. A spokesman for SoftBank didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

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