Japan’s Dai-ichi in talks to buy US life insurer for $5bn

<p>Japanese group Dai-ichi is considering buying US life insurer for $5 billion.</p>

Japanese group Dai-ichi Life Insurance said today (June 2nd) that it is considering buying US life insurer Protective Life Corp in a deal estimated to be worth $5 billion (£2.98 billion).

"It is true that we are looking into purchasing a US life insurance company. It is not true that we have made a decision at this time," Dai-ichi said in a statement.

According to Reuters, the deal would be the biggest so far in a string of overseas acquisitions by Japan's insurers.

For Dai-ichi Life, "it would be very difficult to secure growth when the overall domestic life insurance market starts shrinking," said insurance sector analyst at Fitch Ratings Teruki Morinaga. "So, it has to go overseas," he was quoted by the news source as saying.

The Japanese group is expected to enter into final talks early next week with Protective with the deal possibly closing as early as the same week.

Dai-ichi is Japan's third largest private life insurer, bringing in 6.04 trillion yen in revenue last year. Protective has a market capitalisation of $4.1 billion.

Shares in Dai-ichi fell by almost five per cent during today's trading session.

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