Singlife, a home-grown Singaporean insurer, will now operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Japanese life insurance company Sumitomo Life Insurance.
Sumitomo Life has entered a binding agreement to acquire all the shares held by TPG, representing 35% of Singlife’s ownership since 2020. Singlife announced that Sumitomo Life will extend offers to purchase shares from all remaining shareholders, aiming for full ownership of Singlife at a valuation of S$4.6 billion.
The completion of these transactions, expected in the first quarter of 2024, is contingent upon regulatory approvals in both Japan and Singapore. This agreement follows Sumitomo Life’s prior purchase of Aviva’s stake in Singlife, announced on September 13, with Sumitomo Life subsequently increasing its stake in November.
Sumitomo Life has been a strategic investor in Singlife since 2019, viewing Singapore as a vital component of its Southeast Asia strategy. Singlife’s chairman, Ray Ferguson, highlighted the benefits of becoming a subsidiary of Sumitomo Life, including access to capital and a strategic plan to provide financial solutions in Southeast Asia.
Singlife’s CEO, Pearlyn Phau, assured investors of continuity in business strategies, emphasizing Sumitomo Life’s commitment to maintaining Singlife’s operations without alteration. She reiterated Singlife’s focus on customer-centric solutions to promote financial freedom for individuals and families.
Background and Purpose of the Transaction
Sumitomo Life views Singapore as a pivotal market in its broader Asia strategy and has been a steadfast supporter of Singlife’s expansion efforts since its initial investment in 2019. Singlife has demonstrated steady growth, leveraging its digital-enabled business model and the acquisition of Aviva’s Singapore business in 2020. These strategic moves have propelled Singlife to become one of the leading life insurance companies in Singapore, offering a diverse range of products through various sales channels.
Singlife has also extended its reach into the Philippines as part of its regional expansion strategy. Given these achievements and growth prospects, coupled with the strong relationship between Sumitomo Life and Singlife, Sumitomo Life has decided to elevate Singlife to the status of a subsidiary.
Next Steps for Sumitomo Life
Following the transaction, Sumitomo Life aims to unlock and maximize synergies within the group by leveraging Singlife’s expertise across its existing businesses in Asia. Additionally, Sumitomo Life intends to establish a local office in Singapore in April 2024 to deepen its relationship with Singlife and conduct market research in the region. Looking ahead, Sumitomo Life envisions the possibility of setting up a regional headquarters in Singapore to advance its Asia strategies, strengthen group governance, and realize synergies with Singlife.
Through these initiatives, Sumitomo Life aims to enhance the earnings contribution from its overseas operations, bolstering its business sustainability and aligning with the objectives outlined in its “Sumitomo Life Medium-Term Business Plan 2025” and “Sumitomo Life Group Vision 2030.” Ultimately, Sumitomo Life aspires to become an indispensable insurance group that actively contributes to the well-being of its stakeholders.