Philippine National Bank (PNB) has sold its majority stake in PNB Life Insurance Inc. to a German company despite receiving offers from other foreign insurance firms.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Tuesday, PNB said it signed a deal with financial services company Allianz SE on Monday to sell 12,750 shares of PNB Life equivalent to a 51-percent stake in the bancassurance firm.
Esther Tan, PNB Life president, told The Manila Times in a phone interview that “Allianz will now be in control” of PNB Life.
Tan said “we have around 15” insurance firms hoping to strike a deal with PNB Life. She did not name the other companies.
In a separate statement, PNB said the agreement with Allianz is a 15-year exclusive distribution partnership that entails changing the name of PNB Life to Allianz PNB Life Insurance Inc.
The deals gives Allianz access to over 660 PNB branches and 4 million customers.
“The Philippines is a very fast-growing insurance market supported by a healthy economic outlook and a large, young population of over 100 million people. The transaction with PNB is a unique opportunity to enter into the market with an established distribution network, and it is part of building our strategic business platforms,” George Sartorel, chief executive officer of Allianz Asia-Pacific, said.
“The strong interest we drew from Allianz and other candidates was a welcome validation of the successful turnaround of PNB Life that we started six years ago,” Tan was quoted, as saying.
Aside from Allianz, the other foreign insurers eyeing PNB Life were Fubon Life of Taiwan, Samsung Life of Korea, Zurich Life of Switzerland, as well as a Japanese and a Malaysian company, according to earlier reports.
Established in 1890, the Munich, Germany-based Allianz serves 85 million customers around the globe and mainly offers insurance and asset management products and solutions.
As of end-September, total assets under management of Allianz reached €1.746 trillion. Its nine-month net income attributable to shareholders climbed by 3.9 percent to €5.20 billion.
PNB Life is the 10th largest life insurance company in the Philippines, with business premiums of P3.745 billion as of end-2014.