Jack Ma-Backed Group To Acquire MassMutual’s Hong Kong, Macau Operations For $1.7B

An investor consortium backed by Alibaba Group’s founder Jack Ma has agreed to acquire the Hong Kong and Macau operations of U.S. insurer Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co., also known as MassMutual, for HK$13 billion (US$1.7 billion). Yunfeng Financial Group Ltd., a Hong Kong listed mid-cap brokerage firm acquired by Jack Ma and his close allies in 2015, plans to acquire a 60% stake in MassMutual Asia Ltd. in a cash and new-share placement deal. The remaining 40% will be acquired by seven other Asian investors including Alibaba’s financial affiliate Ant Financial, Sina Corp. and the Singapore government-backed City-Scape Pte. Ltd., according to a securities disclosure document released last week. The deal represents another step in Jack Ma’s campaign to build a global financial services empire anchored by Ant Financial, operator of China’s leading third-party payment service Alipay. MassMutual will add insurance and annuity products to Ma’s already impressive financial services arsenal. Such products have become immensely popular among Chinese investors seeking overseas diversification. Ma and Ant Financial, a co-investor in the deal, would also gain access to MassMutual’s customer network and distribution channels across Asia, providing valuable cross-selling capabilities. As the Chinese currency faces pressure to depreciate and mainland …

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