Eyebrows were raised after Softbank confirmed that it is currently discussing with Swiss Re regarding the acquisition of a minority stake in the insurance behemoth.
In a statement, Swiss Re revealed that the two companies are “engaged in preliminary discussions.” However, the company said that “there is no certainty that any transaction will be agreed.”
Neil Campling, Mirabaud Securities global thematic co-head, stated: “I don’t quite get this Softbank interest in Swiss Re.
“Softbank is supposed to be more a tech visionary business and not a conglomerate. Getting into insurance in a disruptive way, like their acquisition of Lemonade which uses AI to accelerate claims processing does make sense, but not traditional reinsurance.”
Campling added: “Investing in an overcapitalised industry that has no obvious synergies with any of the other holdings can only lead to an even greater discount to the value of its holdings – because it will result in a clear general industry conglomerate, not a leading tech visionary company.”
The spending spree of Softbank has remained at pace. Its latest accounts filings revealed that around a third of its $100bn Vision Fund has already been deployed.
Last January, Softbank invested €460m in an online marketplace for buying and selling cars that is based in Berlin called the Auto1.
Two weeks ago, it was reported that the tech giant was aiming to create a global digital payments system that could compete with giants such as PayPal.