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Yasuda Fire & Marine Insurance Co. and two other nonlife insurers due to merge April 1, 2002, inked a deal Wednesday to merge into a single entity on April 1, 2002.

Next April, Yasuda, Nissan Fire & Marine Insurance Co. and Taisei Fire & Marine Insurance Co. will come together as Sompo Japan Insurance Inc., which will be capitalized at 100 billion yen.

Yasuda will be the surviving entity, with all Nissan and Taisei shares to be swapped for Yasuda shares.

Under an agreement signed earlier in the day, one Nissan share will be exchanged for 0.7 Yasuda share, while one Taisei share will be swapped for 0.5 Yasuda share.

Yasuda President Hiroshi Hirano will become the head of the new company.

At a news conference announcing details of the merger, Hirano said the three companies together have 49 board members, which will be cut to 20 when they merge.

Hirano said other nonlife insurers are welcome to join the tripartite merger if they do business “in the same direction.”

The merger will create the second-largest insurance group in Japan, after an insurance group to be created by Tokio Marine & Fire Insurance Co. and Nichido Fire & Marine Insurance Co.

The three-way merger will inherit the tieup deal Yasuda earlier concluded with Dai-ichi Mutual Life Insurance Co., Japan’s second-largest life insurer.

Under this deal, Dai-ichi’s nonlife insurance unit, Dai-ichi Property and Casualty Insurance Co., will also be merged into Yasuda on April 1.

Meanwhile, Yasuda and Nissan will continue to operate their respective subsidiaries — INA Himawari Life Insurance Co. and DIY Life Insurance Co. — even after the merger of the three firms.

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