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John123 in Mergers & Acquisitions,

One more Chinese company is hunting US assets

Another day and another Chinese company in the news. Only yesterday I wrote about planned acquisition of Western Digital by Tsinghua Holdings Co Ltd.

Anbang Insurance Group Co is in the lead to acquire annuities and life insurance company Fidelity & Guaranty Life (FGL), according to circulating rumors, as more Chinese insurers seek to expand into the United States.

Privately held Anbang has so far prevailed over other bidders, including private equity firms, in the auction for Fidelity & Guaranty Life. There is no certainty that the negotiations between Anbang and Fidelity & Guaranty Life will result in a deal.

HRG Group Inc (HRG), a financial interests holding company backed by Leucadia National Corp (LUK) and previously controlled by hedge fund manager Philip Falcone, owns an 80.6 stake interest in Fidelity & Guarantee Life. It said in April that it was exploring a sale of Fidelity & Guaranty Life.

Shares of Iowa-based Fidelity & Guarantee Life rose as much as 10 percent on news of Anbang being in the lead to acquire it. HRG Group shares also rose more that 2 percent in Thursday afternoon trading in New York.

If Anbang clinches a deal for Fidelity & Guaranty Life, which has a market capitalization of $1.5 billion, it would be the Chinese insurer's first acquisition of a U.S. competitor.

Beijing-based Anbang has already been acquiring assets in other sectors of the economy. For example, it purchased New York's famed Waldorf Astoria Hotel earlier this year from Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc (HLT) for $1.95 billion.

Anbang and its peers have been seeking to diversify their holdings away from China through the purchase of real estate and other interests, including insurance companies in the U.S. and other markets around the world.

I think FGL will continue rising and it may be a good speculative short-term long.