Japanese life insurer Dai-ichi Life has reached an agreement with Pasona Group to acquire the healthcare platform Benefit One. 

The agreement saw Dai-ichi Life outbid digital healthcare provider M3, which had initially launched a tender offer for Benefit One in November 2023 after reaching an accord with Pasona. 

Pasona, a temporary staffing service company that owns 51.16% of Benefit One, has terminated its previous tender agreement with M3.  

In a statement, Pasona said: “The company [Pasona] has concluded that the offer received from the tender offeror [Dai-ichi Life] is more economically reasonable than the M3 tender offer and will better contribute to enhancing the corporate value of the company.” 

Dai-ichi Life, which countered M3’s offer in December 2023, is looking to bolster its non-insurance operations through this acquisition. 

In a filing, Dai-ichi Life announced that it would take Benefit One private by launching a tender offer from 9 February 2024 to 11 March 2024 at a price of Y2,173 ($14.5) per share. 

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After being sweetened from the first bid of Y1,800, Dai-ichi Life’s offer increased from Y2,123 to Y2,173. 

M3 maintained its bid of Y1,600. 

The move by Dai-ichi Life represents a significant shift from the traditional first-come, first-served approach to M&A in Japan, reported Nikkei

It could signal a new era for corporate buyouts in the country.  

Benefit One provides corporate clients with employee benefits and has a membership base of approximately 9.5 million.  

The acquisition will enable Dai-ichi Life to not only diversify its business beyond insurance but also to offer customised insurance packages to Benefit One’s members, considering their family structures and age groups. 

The pursuit of growth outside the saturated domestic market has led Japanese life insurers to explore opportunities in other sectors.  

Nippon Life Insurance, the country’s leading life insurer, ventured into nursing care by acquiring Nichii Holdings, which owns industry leader Nichii Gakkan, for around Y210bn in November 2023.