Fosun International to buy the remaining in US insurer Ironshore for $1.84 bn

The investment arm of Fosun International - China's largest privately held conglomerate, yesterday announced that it will buy the 80-per cent it does not already own in US insurer Ironshore, for $1.84 billion

The latest deal comes a year after Fosun acquired Portuguese insurer Caixa Seguros for €1 billion, and last month teamed up with US private equity firm TPG Capital and Canadian pension fund, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec to buy a majority stake in Cirque du Soleil, in a deal that valued the world's largest theatrical production company at around $1.5 billion (See: Investor consortium buys majority stake in Canada's Cirque du Soleil).

Fosun had acquired a 20-per cent stake in Ironshore in August last year for $464 million in order to expand its global insurance network.

Ironshore said in a statement that ''the acquisition of the remaining stake in Ironshore will be effected by the merger of an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Fosun International with and into Ironshore, with Ironshore as the surviving company. After giving effect to the merger, Ironshore will be an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Fosun International.''

Fosun buys overseas assets and then expands them in China. It has already done this strategy with European lifestyle brands like jeweler Folli Follie and hotel chain Club Med.

Founded in 2006, Ironshore provides commercial property and casualty insurance in the US, Australia, Canada, Singapore and other countries.

Guo Guangchang, chairman of Fosun said, ''Ironshore managing and underwriting insurance capabilities are widely recognized in the insurance industry. The acquisition of the remaining interest in Ironshore will further expand Fosun's capability to access long-term high-quality capital.''

Fosun is a leading investment group and insurance is its core business and developing insurance as one of the key growth engines of the group.

Currently, Fosun has more than one third of its total assets invested in insurance businesses, including investments in Ironshore.