Leading homegrown financial services company Singapore Life Holdings (Singlife) announced that one of its substantial shareholders, Sumitomo Life Insurance Company (Sumitomo Life) has entered into a binding agreement, to purchase all the shares in Singlife held by TPG. TPG has invested in Singlife since 2020 and owns some 35% of the company.
Sumitomo Life will also make an offer to buy up the shares of all other remaining shareholders. If all the offers are accepted, Sumitomo Life will have 100% ownership of Singlife.
The deal values Singlife at SGD 4.6 billion ($3.4 billion) and is therefore one of the largest insurance deals in Southeast Asia to date.
The agreement comes on the back of Sumitomo Life’s purchase of Aviva plc’s stake in Singlife, first announced on 13 September 2023.
The transactions are expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2024 and are subject to regulatory approvals in Japan and Singapore.
Sumitomo Life, which first invested in Singlife in 2019, sees Singapore as a key part of its Southeast Asia strategy and expects the deal to strengthen the earnings of its international business portfolio. It does not intend to change the way Singlife operates, whether it is in its name, brand, management team or operations, hence there will be no impact to any customers. Sumitomo Life is fully supportive of Singlife’s plans and its longer-term aspirations for growth in both Singapore and the broader region.
Ray Ferguson, chairman of Singlife, said: “This has been an incredible journey for Singlife. We have grown from a small insurtech startup to become a key player in Singapore’s insurance and financial services industry. We are very pleased that the shareholders have reached an agreement which will solidify Singlife’s ambitions in Southeast Asia. As a subsidiary of Sumitomo Life, we will have access to capital, a nimble shareholding structure, and be at the centre of a strategic plan to provide financial planning solutions for consumers in Southeast Asia.”
Yukinori Takada, president and CEO of Sumitomo Life, said: “I am very pleased as this is a strategic, long-term investment that will help Sumitomo Life grow in Southeast Asia. Singlife has been steadily expanding on the strength of its digital-enabled business with a wide range of products and sales channels. We have had a very good relationship with the Singlife management team and want to support their growth.”
Pearlyn Phau CEO, Singlife Group, said: “I would like to assure all partners, customers and staff that Singlife will stay true to its vision, mission and values. We’ve had great conversations with Sumitomo Life over the past year. They are committed, long-term investors and they do not want to change the way we operate. They are fully behind our business strategies and plans. We agree that we will continue to focus first on our customers, to continually build better solutions to help them and their families achieve financial freedom.”
Singlife is one of the top six insurers in Singapore based on total assets of SGD 14.4 billion ($10.9 billion) as of 31 December 2022.
Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker