GIC joins investor group led by Jack Ma-backed Yunfeng Financial to acquire MassMutual Asia

GIC, together with several Asia-based investors, has agreed to acquire Hong Kong-based MassMutual Asia Ltd from Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company.
GIC, together with several Asia-based investors, has agreed to acquire Hong Kong-based MassMutual Asia Ltd from Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - GIC, together with several Asia-based investors, has agreed to acquire Hong Kong-based MassMutual Asia Ltd from Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company.

The investor group is led by Yunfeng Financial Group, the financial services company backed by Alibaba founder Jack Ma.

The buyers will pay HK$13 billion (S$2.3 billion) for MassMutual Asia Ltd, with about 60 per cent, or approximately US$1.01 billion (S$1.38 billion), in cash and the rest in Yunfeng stock.

In turn, Yunfeng will take a direct 60 per cent interest in MassMutual Asia, while GIC Pte Ltd will have a 7.5 per cent stake.

The remaining investors comprise Ant Financial (5 per cent), Sina (5 per cent), Giant Interactive (2.8 per ent), Meyu International (9.8 per cent), Harvest Billion International Limited (4.9 per cent) and Sheen Light Development Limited (5 per cent).

GIC believes MassMutual Asia will continue to enjoy the consistent growth of Hong Kong's life insurance industry, it said in a statement on Friday (Aug 18).

The acquisition is at a very reasonable valuation and there could be significant value creation through strategic collaboration among MassMutual Asia, Yunfeng Financial and Ant Financial, GIC added.

MassMutual, founded in 1851, has been reshaping its business mix under chief executive officer Roger Crandall, the South China Morning Post said on Friday. The company has been seeking to expand in asset management and added a network of thousands of advisers in a deal last year with MetLife, said SCMP.