MetLife Inc. is seeking a sale of its Hong Kong insurance unit, joining international rivals including AXA S.A. and MassMutual that have pursued divestments in the Chinese territory, people with knowledge of the matter said.
New York-based MetLife is preparing to send out information on the Hong Kong business to prospective buyers in the next couple weeks, according to the people. The sale could raise more than $600 million, one of the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private.
MetLife is the latest insurer seeking to cash in on a surge of buyer interest in a coveted Hong Kong insurance license. Chinese companies have been pursuing acquisitions of life insurers and wealth managers in the city in a string of deals over the past three years, as they seek to cater to demand for investment-type products from mainland customers.
AXA agreed last month to sell its Hong Kong wealth management unit to a local family office, while a group led by tech billionaire Jack Ma’s Yunfeng Financial Group Ltd. said in August it would buy control of Hong Kong-based MassMutual Asia Ltd. for $1.7 billion.