China is reviving a sale of Dajia Insurance Group Co., the company that took over most of the operations of troubled Anbang Insurance Group Co., as the government seeks to turn the firm over to private investors, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
Advisers are working on a sale of Dajia that could value the state-owned company at about $3 billion, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. The Beijing-based insurer has drawn preliminary interest from bidders including other insurers and investment funds, and non-binding offers are set to be received as soon as this month, one of the people said.
This would be at least the second attempt to sell the business following an effort last year, Bloomberg News has reported. The divestment may be spread out across multiple transactions, the people said.
Deliberations are ongoing and there’s no certainty the current process will lead to a deal, the people said. A representative for Dajia declined to comment. The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Anbang became emblematic of the unbridled appetite for international trophy assets displayed by some of China’s biggest conglomerates. Authorities seized control of Anbang in February 2018 and later sentenced former chairman Wu Xiaohui to 18 years in prison for fundraising fraud and embezzlement.
As part of Anbang’s restructuring under state control, China created Dajia Insurance Group in 2019 to take over its main insurance operations. The new entity acquired the stakes of Anbang Life Insurance, Anbang Annuity Insurance and Anbang Asset Management, as well as some assets of Anbang Property & Casualty Insurance.
–With assistance from Zhang Dingmin.