FWD, the Asian insurance company owned by the son of Hong Kong businessman Li Ka-shing, has filed for an initial public offering in the United States in what will be one of the biggest listings of the year.
The company, founded in 2013 by Richard Lee, said on Thursday that it had secretly submitted IPO files to the US Securities and Exchange Commission. This allows it to file documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission before submitting a prospectus to the public.
FWD said the number of US depository shares to be offered and the price range for the initial public offering have yet to be determined and that the timing of the listing is subject to regulatory approval. But the company may be seeking $2-3 billion from the stock sale, according to people familiar with the situation.
FWD has expanded significantly throughout Asia, rapidly rolling out a network across 10 countries including Japan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Cambodia.
The insurance company has nearly 10 million customers, more than $63 billion in assets and approximately 6,100 employees as well as 33,000 agents.
Lee started FWD by acquiring $1.2 billion of ING pension and insurance companies in Thailand, Hong Kong and Macau. The expansion strategy of Huynh Thanh Phong, CEO of FWD, focused on dual moves into new Asian markets using technology to reduce paperwork and the combined complexity of the industry in the region.
The group swallowed competitors with the withdrawal of rival financial groups from the region, including MetLife business in Hong Kong and insurance business in Thailand Siam Commercial Bank, the largest industry acquisition in Southeast Asia.
“[SCB was] The origin of the prize that everyone wanted to pursue, “Fung For the Financial Times In an interview this year. FWD eventually acquired Savings Credit Bank for 93 billion Bt ($3 billion) in 2019, giving it a 36 percent market share in Thailand on bank insurance terms, larger than the next three groups combined.