Prudential to buy Thai insurer

Insurer Prudential this morning agreed to buy the life assurance arm of Thai bank Thanachart for £368m.

Prudential will also receive a further payment of £10m, payable 12 months after completion.

The acquisition, which will double the British insurer’s market share in Thailand, ramps up Prudential’s grip on the “highly attractive markets” of South East Asia.

Life insurance penetration in Thailand remains low at 2.7 per cent, which the Pru said will provide “substantial long-term profitable growth opportunities”.

The deal marks the first major attempt to buy an Asian company since Prudential chief executive Tidjane Thiam aborted a $35bn bid in 2010 for AIA, the former Asian unit of American International Group Inc.

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of next year.