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December 15, 2021

Life insurer FWD secures $1.42bn in private placements, mulls Hong Kong IPO

Asian life insurance company FWD Group has signed an agreement with several investors to raise $1.42bn through private placements.

The investors include Apollo Global Management, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Swiss Re, and the Siam Commercial Bank.

FWD’s other backers are Pacific Century Group, Metro Pacific Investments and Li Ka Shing Foundation.

The insurer, owned by billionaire Richard Li, plans to raise the funds by issuing new ordinary shares. The placements are expected to complete in December 2021, subject to customary closing conditions.

FWD Group CEO and executive director Huynh Thanh Phong said: “We are very excited to welcome new and existing partners to invest in FWD. These latest investments in FWD reflect a recognition of our ability to continue our strong growth momentum in the attractive Asian life insurance sector.”

FWD will use the proceeds to provide additional capital to accelerate its growth and to reduce leverage.

Meanwhile, the insurer is reportedly planning to pull the plug on its US initial public offering (IPO).

FWD had planned to raise $2bn-$3bn from its US IPO, which could take the company’s valuation to $13bn-$15bn.

The US IPO hit a roadblock in October when the US authorities raised concerns if the Chinese government could extend its authority to firms like FWD.

As per South China Morning Post’s report, the US Securities and Exchange Commission has cleared FWD’s IPO; however, it will still drop its plan.

The insurer will move its IPO to Hong Kong, a source told the publication adding that the listing is expected to happen in the first half of 2022.

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