• Kyodo News


Prudential Insurance Co. of America has likely been tapped to acquire Yamato Life Insurance Co., which has been placed under court-appointed administration, sources familiar with the matter said.

Prudential was one of two participants in a tender bid organized by lawyer Hideo Seto, who was named its bankruptcy administrator last October by the Tokyo District Court. Seto is trying to hand Yamato’s operations to an acquirer.

“I have judged one of the two bidders to be appropriate” as the acquirer of the time-honored life insurer, Seto said Friday, adding a final decision would be made in two weeks.

Seto did not reveal the names of the bidders but sources said the bankruptcy administrator selected Prudential, based on its past performance and the amount of financial support it offered.

Yamato, which ranked 32nd of the 40 life insurers in Japan, went belly up on Oct. 10, becoming the eighth life insurer to fail since the end of World War II and the first since the collapse of Tokyo Life Insurance Co. in 2001.

The two bidders were selected from a list of various financial institutions that offered to sponsor Yamato and were subsequently screened for Friday’s tender.

Yamato’s negative net worth “ballooned to ¥63 billion to ¥64 billion as of Oct. 17,” a source close to the selection process said.

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