9 April 2015News

Asian insurers to spearhead M&A in 2015: Deloitte

Merger and acquisition (M&A) activity will continue in 2015, with Asian insurers expected to be a driving force.

This is according to Deloitte’s 2015 re/insurance outlook, which predicted that foreign buyers will seek to make a play this year as an improving US economy leads to more growth opportunities despite extended regulatory challenges.

Deloitte explained that although in recent years large international insurers have pursued acquisitions in the Latin America and Asia markets, a number are now expressing renewed interest in the US.

In 2014, a number of Asian buyers went shopping for US-based companies. Dai-ichi Life Insurance purchased Protective Life Corp for $5.58 billion in June, leveraging the acquisition as an additional source of growth.

The report added that large Chinese and Korean organisations are also looking to acquire both life and P&C insurance companies in the US and elsewhere.

Fosun International’s announced acquisition of Meadowbrook Insurance Group for $433 million is another example of this trend. Some European insurance companies are also evaluating potential acquisitions, although not at the same level as their Asian counterparts, said Deloitte.

The report said that as of December 2, 2014, overall global cross-border M&A was up 45 percent from 2013 and at its highest year-to-date volume since 2008. The US, at 24 percent market share, was the year’s top-targeted nation by both volume and activity for global cross-border M&A.