NU Online News Service, July 24, 3:55 p.m. – Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, Springfield, Mass., says it will launch a tender offer to acquire the shares of Aetna Heiwa Life Insurance Company, Tokyo.

The offer, scheduled to start July 25, represents a first move by MassMutual to enter the Japanese market, the company says.

In the last two years, the company has acquired insurers in Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Aetna Heiwa was founded in 1907 and now has $4.5 billion in assets. Most of its shares are held by Aetna International Inc., which was acquired by the ING Groep N.V., Amsterdam, in December 2000.