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UK's PIC attracts Chinese investor as part of £250m capital boost

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Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC), the specialist UK insurer, is set to raise £250m (€315m) in equity capital, agreeing to a cash injection from an existing shareholder.

PIC said that, in addition to a £140m investment from existing shareholder Reinet, new Chinese investor, Legend Holdings, would buy shares worth £110m in PIC Group, the insurer’s ultimate parent.

In a statement, PIC added that Legend had shown an interest in investing above and beyond the £110m initially agreed, saying further commitments could either take the shape of capital injections or the acquisition of existing shares owned by its employees.

Li Peng, senior vice-president at Legend, said the company was “very excited” at the prospect of becoming a significant shareholder in PIC Group.

“Our investment in PICG is consistent with the strategic goals our company has set for its future development outside China and across the financial services sector,” he said.

“This includes building long-term industry leaders in sectors with sustainable and profitable growth. Our intention is to fully support PIC’s growth over the long term.”

Wilhem van Zyl, chief executive at Reinet, which invested £400m in PIC in 2012, said he was “delighted” to be growing investment in the company.

“Since we made our initial investment in 2012,” van Zyl said, “PIC has grown considerably and consistently, maintaining its leadership position in a market with strong growth prospects.

“We are very confident PIC has established an excellent foundation to develop into a leading business in the UK financial services sector.”

Interest in buyouts and other de-risking strategies has remained constant over the last few years, with PIC recently completing a £2.4bn buyout for the Philips Pension Fund in the UK.

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