The Wall Street Journal is reporting that American International Group Inc. (AIG) has invited four Taiwan parties to conduct due diligence on Nan Shan Life Insurance Co., reviving Nan Shan's sale after the U.S. insurer aborted an attempt to sell its Taiwan life-insurance unit to a Hong Kong-based consortium.
The four particies that were approached in recent days are Chinatrust Financial Holding Co. Fubon Financial Holding Co., Cathay Financial Holding Co. and the chairman of Ruentex Group.
"The invitation to these firms means the deal is back on the block, but it's in very early stages," said the person. "But these are all Taiwan companies so the aim is to get strategics to bid."
A Fubon spokeswoman confirmed that on Saturday, Fubon Vice Chairman Richard Tsai told reporters that Fubon had been invited to conduct due diligence on Nan Shan, but didn't give any more details. Chinatrust and Nan Shan declined to comment. AIG, Ruentex and Cathay Financial couldn't immediately be reached for comment.
Taiwan regulators rejected AIG's proposed sale of Nan Shan to battery maker China Strategic Holdings Ltd. and partner Primus Financial Holdings Ltd. in August because of doubts about China Strategic's financial strength and commitment to Nan Shan, which controls more than 30% of Taiwan's life-insurance market. The $2.15 billion deal between AIG and the China Strategic consortium had been struck in October 2009.