MS&AD lands knock-out blow for First Capital

The Japanese were prepared to pay up for a heady mix of Asean exposure, commercial insurance and control of a profitable company. A refreshing change from past deals in Asia.

The day after Hong Kong was hit by Typhoon Hato Japanese for pigeon, property and casualty heavyweight MSAD Insurance made a hefty bet on a fire-to-marine insurance broker with exposure in the territory.

For Tokyo-headquartered MSAD, hurricanes and earthquakes are part of the day job. But its latest acquisition shows it clearly wants to de-risk its Southeast Asian strategy.

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance, a unit of MSAD, said on Thursday it plans to buy First Capital Insurance for $1.6 billion 174.4 billion in cash.

First Capital looks like a relatively safe play. It is profitable with a five-year average...

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