Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia—(PHStocks)—Sun Life Financial Inc. (PSE: SLF) (TSX: SLF) (NYSE: SLF) and Khazanah Nasional Berhad (Khazanah) are establishing a strategic partnership to acquire 98 percent of CIMB Aviva Assurance Berhad, a Malaysian life insurance company, and CIMB Aviva Takaful Berhad, a Malaysian takaful company, in a transaction valued at RM1.8 billion (C$586 million). Sun Life and Khazanah are each paying RM900 million (C$293 million) in respect of the transaction, which includes entering into a new 20-year exclusive bancassurance agreement with CIMB Bank.
Sun Life and Khazanah are each acquiring 49 percent of the Company from Aviva International Holdings Limited and CIMB Group Holdings Berhad (CIMB Group), respectively. CIMB Group will retain a two percent share in the Company.
The transaction includes an exclusive right to distribute insurance products, including takaful products, through CIMB Bank’s network across Malaysia. This network includes 312 branches across the country and eight million customers.
“This transaction is perfectly aligned with our strategy for expanding our footprint in Asia,” said Kevin Strain, President, Sun Life Financial Asia. “With Khazanah and CIMB, we have very strong partners with a broad distribution platform, and we are investing in a country with one of the most developed economies in the ASEAN region and a growing middle class. The combination of Sun Life’s global insurance experience, Khazanah’s strategic and financial expertise as an investor in the region, and CIMB’s strong banking presence, reputation and brand in Malaysia and throughout the region, will deliver excellent value to customers and make the Company a leader in the industry.”
Khazanah Managing Director Tan Sri Dato’ Azman bin Hj Mokhtar said, “This is an important investment for Khazanah. It marks not just an opportunity to invest into an asset in a growth sector, but also brings together a unique commercial partnership among three strong parties in their respective areas. We are delighted to be partnering with Sun Life and CIMB.”
“We look forward to working with the new bancassurance partners we have chosen after an extensive selection process. Bancassurance remains a core component of our wealth management proposition and we believe that the enhanced bancassurance agreement and potential regional synergies will enable our new partners to manufacture and support a more competitive product range for us to take to our customers,” said Dato’ Sri Nazir Razak, Group Chief Executive, CIMB Group.
The proposed acquisition by Sun Life and Khazanah is subject to regulatory approvals in Canada and Malaysia. The transaction is expected to close by the first half of 2013.