HONG KONG, Sept 6 (Reuters) - China’s Anbang Insurance Group Co Ltd and HNA Group Co Ltd separately considered buying stakes in German insurer Allianz SE as part of plans to create a global financial empire, people with direct knowledge of the matter said.
The conglomerates considered buying a majority stake in the world’s fourth-largest insurer by market value - worth over $95 billion - while HNA was also open to a minority stake, said two people who were involved in the discussions.
The separate talks, which were at an early stage and did not result in formal bids, were called off earlier this year on expected regulatory hurdles in Germany and China and due to little interest shown by Allianz’s management, they said.
The people spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity due to sensitivity of the issue. HNA’s plans to buy a stake in Allianz was first reported by German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung on Wednesday.
Representatives at Allianz, Anbang and HNA - which has announced over $50 billion in deals since 2015 including stakes in Deutsche Bank AG and Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc - all declined to comment when contacted by Reuters. (Reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee; Additional reporting by Matthew Miller and Tom Sims; Editing by Clara Ferreira-Marques and Christopher Cushing)