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Cinven Pursues Insurance Platform Strategy with AXA Life Europe Deal

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Private equity firm Cinven, through Sixth Cinven Fund, made an “irrevocable offer” to acquire Dublin-based insurer AXA Life Europe Limited (ALE) in a deal estimated to be worth €925 million. ALE operates in Germany, the U.K., France, Spain, Italy, and Portugal. The insurance unit has not accepted new business since last year. It has €8 billion in assets and €5 billion in reserves. Furthermore, ALE is a reinsurer of AXA’s Japanese variable annuity portfolio. Private equity firms are hot for European life insurance businesses.

The deal could be effective as early as late 2018 or early 2019, and comes on the heels of the July 2018 acquisition of Viridium Group, a manager of life insurance portfolios in Germany. Caspar Berendsen, partner at Cinven, paints the picture of a much larger insurance conglomerate in the works, “Cinven’s acquisition of ALE is a ‘repeat play’ of the consolidation platforms we have created though Guardian Financial Services in the UK, Eurovita in Italy and Viridium in Germany. Cinven’s investment strategy, in this case, focuses on the consolidation of closed life funds with variable annuity offerings, primarily across Ireland and the Isle of Man.”

AXA Life Europe’s CEO, Eoin Lynam, is very much in favor of the potential sale. Lynam publicly praised Cinven’s expertise, “We have followed Cinven’s investments across various geographies in the European life insurance markets and it’s clear that they have a fantastic grasp of the opportunities available to ALE.” Cinven manages capital on behalf of investors globally. Sovereign wealth funds contribute a 16% share of Cinven’s capital. The Boards of the Guernsey Managers supervise the governance of the funds.

Advisors

JPMorgan provided financial advice to Cinven, while Clifford Chance was the legal advisor for Cinven. Deloitte was the tax advisor for Cinven.

Norway GPFG Would Prioritize Value in Tesla Stake

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Sovereign wealth fund giant Norway Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) is an investor in Tesla, holding a 0.48% stake at the end of 2017. GPFG owns roughly 1.4% of all globally listed company shares, minus stocks from its exclusion pool. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Anbang Insurance Set to Sell its US Luxury Portfolio

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Distressed Beijing-based holding company Anbang Insurance Group is set to sell its U.S. luxury hotel properties, which were purchased for US$ 5.5 billion from the Blackstone Group in 2016. This is a move to raise quick cash, following the firm’s seizure at the hands of the Chinese government six months ago. Bids had already been ongoing for selected properties, including the famed Essex House Hotel, overlooking Manhattan’s Central Park. The portfolio of hotels is strategically placed in geographically diverse regions, including Miami and Chicago. Anbang is looking to cash in on the properties quickly, as its properties in China are already being liquidated. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Norway GPFG Returns 1.8% for Second Quarter of 2018

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Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) returned 1.8% for the second quarter of 2018. Listed equity investments generated a 2.7% return for the period, while fixed income returned 0%. Unlisted real estate investments posted a 1.9% return for the second quarter. In addition, the Norwegian krone depreciated against the U.S. dollar during the quarter. Furthermore, 2 billion NOK was withdrawn from the fund.

“North American and European stocks had a positive development in the quarter despite the prospect of increased trade barriers. This made a positive contribution to the fund’s return,” says Trond Grande, Deputy CEO of Norges Bank Investment Management, according to the press release.

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