Indonesia insurer Bumiputera falls out with ‘white knight’, rescue plan collapses

Indonesian currency Rupiah on hold by a cashier. Photo: Reuters

A rescue plan for Indonesian life insurer Bumiputera has collapsed after it failed to agree with Evergreen Invesco – itsplanned white knight – over the size of a capital injection.

Evergreen had been due to acquire a holding company for Bumiputera, which has more liabilities than assets and operates under the control of Indonesia‘s Financial Services Authority (OJK), by raising billions of dollars through a rights issue.

Financial authorities have been keen to resolve Bumiputera‘s woes without government funds, scarred in part by the public furore that erupted over a taxpayer bailout of lender Bank Century in 2008.

Evergreen had wanted to inject capital in stages into the planned holding company for century-old insurer over a 14 year period, Adhie Massardi, aBumiputera manager, told Reuters, adding that the life insurer had wanted a sizeable amount of funding immediately.

Calls by Reuters to Evergreen’s office were not answered and there were no replies to emailed requests for comment.

Evergreen, which has a market value of just $110 million, had one stage wanted to raise up to 40 trillion rupiah ($2.9 billion) through the rights issue although it later changed that figure to 10.3 trillion rupiah. The deal would have resulted in a backdoor listing for Bumiputera.

Bumiputera is a mutual insurance company owned by its 6.7 million policyholders, who are mainly Indonesian civil servants.

Its assets were worth 11 trillion rupiah ($800 million) at the end of 2017 – more than half in the form of property, while liabilities stood at 28 trillion rupiah, according to management.

Indonesian tycoon, Chairul Tanjung, a former minister who controls CT Corp, said last month he was interested in buying Bumiputera‘s property assets. Massardi said Tanjung has expressed his interest, but nothing has been decided.

Indonesia‘s parliament is scheduled to hold a hearing with the OJK to further discuss Bumiputera‘s prospects next week.

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Reuters

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In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.