A group of investors led by a company backed by Alibaba founder Jack Ma agreed to acquire the Hong Kong and Macau operations of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. (MassMutual) for $1.7 billion, Caixin reports. Yunfeng Financial Group, co-founded by Ma and Target Media’s founder Yu Feng, said in a statement released on Thursday that it will acquire a 60% stake in MassMutual Asia in a cash and new-share placement deal. The remaining 40% will be acquired by seven other Asian investors including Ant Financial, SINA Corp. and the Singapore government-backed City-Scape Pte. The deal will help Yunfeng expand into insurance and annuity products, and gain immediate access to MassMutual’s much-bigger customer network in Asia, which could facilitate more cross-selling of Yunfeng’s other financial services, such as securities brokering. The news sent Yunfeng’s Hong Kong-listed shares up by more than 30% during Friday trading. They ended at HK$6.62, up 5.4% from the previous session.
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