Feb 9 In the face of U.S. state regulatory
hurdles, U.S. annuities and life insurer Fidelity & Guaranty
Life said on Thursday it extended the deadline for its
$1.6 billion sale to China's Anbang Insurance Group, and has
negotiated the right to accept other offers.
The delay gives Anbang, which has sought high-profile deals
overseas, more time to win needed approval for the deal from
U.S. state regulators. Anbang withdrew an application for
regulatory approval last year and has not re-applied.
The Fidelity deal has emerged as another test of the Chinese
insurer's global ambitions. Last year, it abruptly pulled out of
a $14 billion bid for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc.
Fidelity said it can now seek, respond to, evaluate and
negotiate competing offers as long as it does not "enter a
definitive agreement", or sign a separate deal with another
Fidelity said the deadline for the deal with Anbang, which
was agreed in November 2015, has been pushed back to April 17
from Feb 8. It said Anbang will have until May 31 if it secures
a public hearing from Iowa's financial regulator by April 17.
Beijing-based Anbang must secure approvals from regulators
in New York and Iowa, where Fidelity has businesses.
The deal has been approved by the U.S. Committee on Foreign
Investment in the United States, which scrutinizes deals over
national security concerns. But getting regulatory approval in
New York had been problematic.
A source familiar with the matter told Reuters last year the
New York Department of Financial Services had sought more
details about Anbang's funding and shareholder structure,
information Anbang was not immediately able to provide.
As a result, Anbang withdrew an application it made in New
York last year for regulatory approval and has not re-applied, a
spokesman for New York's Department of Financial Services said
Established in 2004, Anbang manages some 1.65 trillion yuan
($239.8 billion) worth of assets and burst onto the global scene
from near obscurity by signing more than $30 billion worth of
corporate deals in the last 2-1/2 years. Its high-profile
investments included a $1.95 billion purchase of the Waldorf
Astoria Hotel in New York.
Due in part to the fact that it is a private company, little
is known about Anbang's funding and shareholding structure.
Corporate records in China show Anbang is owned by 39 privately
held and little-known companies scattered across China.
U.S. President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner,
last month divested his equity interest in a flagship New York
City building that is the subject of negotiations with Anbang
about a possible investment.
($1 = 6.8821 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(Reporting by Koh Gui Qing in New York; Editing by David