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OneBeacon mulls sale, drawing interest from China

OneBeacon mulls sale, drawing interest from China

(Reuters) — OneBeacon Insurance Group Ltd, a specialty insurer controlled by White Mountains Insurance Group Ltd, is considering a sale, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Chinese conglomerate Fosun International Ltd. is one of the companies that is interested in buying OneBeacon, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.

White Mountains, which holds about 75% of OneBeacon, may not sell the business if it doesn't fetch a high enough price, according to the report.

OneBeacon declined to comment, and Fosun was not immediately available for comment.

Shares of OneBeacon jumped 11.4% to $16.69, while White Mountains rose as much as 3% to a near 10-year high of $700.68 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Like Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Fosun has been seeking to buy insurance assets to help it finance future investments.

Fosun has struck deals in France and Britain in recent months, including the $1 billion purchase of French vacation resort firm Club Mediterranee S.A. which was finalized in February.

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