(Bloomberg) -- Canadian insurers Sun Life Financial Inc. and Manulife Financial Corp. are among companies considering bids for an insurance partnership with Hong Kong banking group Dah Sing Financial Holdings Ltd., according to people familiar with the matter.
Other firms weighing an offer include closely-held FTLife Insurance Co., the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. The insurer is owned by an arm of Hong Kong’s New World Development Co., the billionaire Cheng family’s conglomerate.
Dah Sing is working with an adviser to pursue a so-called bancassurance partnership after it terminated an agreement with Tahoe Life Insurance Co., Bloomberg News has reported. A deal, which could be worth a few hundred million dollars, could draw interest from other insurers seeking to expand in the territory, people familiar with the matter have said.
Non-binding offers for the partnership are expected as early as this week, the people said. Considerations are ongoing, the companies could decide against pursuing a deal and other bidders could also emerge, the people said.
Representatives for Dah Sing, FTLife, Manulife and Sun Life declined to comment.
“A bancassurance partnership with Dah Sing is compelling because of its growth potential in Macau,” said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Steven Lam. “The deal could make sense for any of them, so we may be poised to see a bidding war.”
Dah Sing provides banking, insurance and other financial services in Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China, according to its website. In July, Japan’s Norinchukin Bank bought about 10% of Dah Sing from Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group as part of a business tie-up. Shares of the Hong Kong financial services group have dropped 23% this year, valuing the firm at about $736 million.
(Updates with analyst comment in sixth paragraph.)
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