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Report: China's Anbang exploring sale of Dutch insurer Vivat

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Report: China's Anbang exploring sale of Dutch insurer Vivat

Troubled Chinese Anbang Insurance Group Co. Ltd. has been exploring options for the sale of its Netherlands-based subsidiary Vivat NV for the past few weeks, De Telegraaf reported August 14, citing four banking sources.

Anbang, which also looking into the disposal of Belgian insurer Fidea NV, has approached a number of international investment banks to submit possible sale proposals for Vivat, according to De Telegraaf. There is no deadline set for the sale of the Dutch unit, the newspaper said.

German insurance group Allianz SE, as well as Dutch insurers Aegon NV and ASR Nederland NV, are among the companies interested in Vivat, according to the newspaper. Athora Holding Ltd., a unit of global investment firm Apollo Global Management LLC, has also been tipped a potential bidder, it said. Both Anbang and Vivat declined to comment.

Vivat's sale by the Dutch state to Anbang was completed in late July 2015 with the Chinese group paying €1 billion for the Netherlands-based insurer's assets and putting a further €1.4 billion into the unit later on, De Telegraaf said. At the time, the sale of Vivat to Anbang was not considered risky by the Dutch central bank, the newspaper said. Furthermore, the state had no other alternative but to sell the insurance company which was on the brink of collapse back then, it noted.

The debt-ridden Chinese insurance group is currently being wound up. UBS and China International Capital Corporation have been hired to manage the liquidation of Anbang's global assets with a number of disposals planned worldwide. A few years ago, Anbang was on an acquisition spree across Europe when it acquired Vivat, a former unit of collapsed Dutch group SNS Reaal.