Huize Holding Ltd. (Nasdaq: HUIZ) has announced it is expanding through the acquisition of Hubei Shengs Life & General Insurance Agency Co. Ltd. - a leading regional insurance agency group providing life and health insurance products.
Targeting the younger generation of insurance buyers in China, Huize operates a one-stop platform connecting insurance providers and customers. Now, it has struck a deal to acquire a controlling stake in Shengs Life & General through its subsidiaries and the variable interest entity, subject to close by the year-end, according to a statement released Tuesday U.S. time.
Huize's chairman and CEO, Cunjun Ma, said the deal marks a key milestone for Huize's "online-to-offline integration and open platform strategy."
Ma continued, "Leveraging its robust sales team of professional industry veterans, extensive coverage, and experience in serving clients, Shengs Life & General greatly complements our last-mile offline presence, allowing us to provide products and services both online and offline, which will further improve the market presence of our customized products and enhance the brand awareness of Huize."
In turn, Ma said Huize will use its digital capabilities to propel "the establishment of our open insurance product and service platform covering sales management, product offerings and back-end support, with the aim to significantly enhance the efficiency of traditional insurance operations."
Shengs Life & General, operating since 2011, holds a license from the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) and is considered one of Hubei province's leading independent insurance agency groups, Huize said in the statement. The company also operates regional centers in Guangdong and Sichuan provinces, overall counting over 20 sales outlets.
Following the completion of the transaction, Shengs Life & General will be accounted for as a consolidated subsidiary of Huize.
In the markets, HUIZ stock has been on the uptrend – over the past five days, shares in the Chinese insurance platform are up 18%, trading as of midday Wednesday at $2.87 apiece. Last week, the company announced the launch of a $5 million share buyback plan in a show of confidence for long-term growth.
Recently, Huize celebrated its partnership with Sun Life Everbright Life Insurance Co. on jointly launching Everbright Smart Choice, a customized retirement annuity insurance product aimed at providing wealth accumulation and lifetime pension benefits.
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