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Talks between Softbank and Swiss Re faltering: reports

May 06, 2018

Softbank’s interest in acquiring a stake in Swiss Re is said to be waning, according to FT reports.

On 6 May, the FT said that talks between Swiss Re and SoftBank over an investment in the reinsurance company are close to collapsing after three months of discussions.

“People close to the situation say the Japanese company’s enthusiasm has waned in recent weeks,” the publication said.

This follows an earlier report from Bloomberg that SoftBank’s talks with Swiss Re had stalled due to disagreements on the price and size of the stake and how much management control would be handed to SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son, citing sources close to the matter.

When news first broke of discussion between the two parties regarding a minority investment, it was reported that Japanese conglomerate was considering taking up to a third stake in the reinsurer, as well as seeking multiple seats on the board.

However, last month Swiss Re said that the stake was not expected to exceed 10 percent and that the two parties are exploring areas of potential strategic cooperation in parallel.

Speaking on the reinsurer’s first quarter media call last week, Swiss Re CFO John Dacey confirmed that discussions between the two companies were continuing and that the outcome was still open. He also said the company “was constantly in discussions with current and potential investors and with corporates and other groups about business ideas”, signalling that there could be wider investment interest aside from SoftBank.