Softbank in talks to buy stake in Swiss Re


"Swiss Re informs that it is engaged in preliminary discussions with SoftBank Group Corp regarding a potential minority investment in Swiss Re", the world's second largest reinsurer said.

The company added that the negotiations are at a "very early stage".

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The Japanese investment conglomerate is eyeing a stake in Swiss Re that could be worth as much as $10 billion, according to a Wall Street Journal report, which first reported the talks.

Shares in Swiss Re, which has a market capitalisation of around 33 billion Swiss francs ($34.94 billion), were more than 4 percent higher by 1223 GMT.

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Swiss Re is one of the biggest reinsurers in the world and has been in operation for over 150 years. A spokesman for SoftBank didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son has said he wants to build a group of industry-leading companies that, powered by technological advancements in artificial intelligence and interconnected devices, will endure for 300 years. ("SoftBank") regarding a potential minority investment in Swiss Re. However, "there is no certainty that any transaction will be agreed". Recently, however, the industry has faced some major challenges. Exor NV, the investment company for Italy's Agnelli family, bought control of Bermuda reinsurer PartnerRe Ltd. two years ago as a way to diversify holdings, which range from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV to the publisher of the Economist magazine. But it said expected a rise in insurance premiums, especially in disaster-hit areas, would help it recover. Getting into insurance in a disruptive way, like their acquisition of Lemonade which uses AI to accelerate claims processing does make sense, but not traditional reinsurance.

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