National Australia Bank And Nippon Life Send Mixed Message On Acquisition

The Nippon Life Insurance Company has been reported as having a strong interest in acquiring the life insurance business of NAB. However in a statement over the weekend the Japanese firm was playing its cards close to its chest, the cautious insurer said: There have been some media reports regarding the potential acquisition of the life insurance business of National Australia Bank (NAB) by Nippon Life Insurance Company (Nippon Life). Nippon Life had not made any official announcements regarding this speculation. Nippon Life will provide a prompt update if there are any material decisions made.

For the Australian bank however this message seems to have been lost in translation, as they too issued a statement only theirs was to the ASX and more revealing. As in a statement to the ASX, NAB confirmed it was undergoing talks with Nippon Life Insurance Company "with a view to entering a long-term partnership in life insurance product manufacturing".

"Discussions between NAB and Nippon Life are ongoing, however nothing has been decided, and any potential future transaction is uncertain and subject to regulatory approvals," said the statement.

NAB chief executive Andrew Thorburn said NAB had been evaluating "a number of options to improve returns in the wealth business".

"We have been exploring a potential partnership with the NAB Wealth insurance manufacturing business through the formation of a strategic partnership with major global insurance company Nippon Life," Mr Thorburn said.

So as they say watch this space.

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