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MassMutual, State Grid Form Joint Venture to Build Life Insurance Business in China


(Springfield, MA) - Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) and State Grid Corporation of China (State Grid) announced today they will execute a strategic collaboration in Yingda Taihe Life Insurance Company (Yingda Life Insurance) to jointly develop life insurance business in China, providing significant growth opportunities for both organizations.

MassMutual plans to acquire a 19.9 percent equity stake in Yingda Life Insurance, a life insurance subsidiary of State Grid that was established in June 2007. State Grid and other Chinese shareholders will now hold the remaining 80.1 percent of the equity stake. The transaction was approved by the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) on May 27, 2009. MassMutual’s international subsidiary, MassMutual International LLC, will act as MassMutual’s representative in the venture.

“MassMutual International has seen solid, consistent growth over the past several years, due largely to our extensive product portfolio and outstanding distribution systems. This transaction builds on our recent success and reflects the significant value we see in State Grid and the enormous opportunities in the mainland Chinese insurance market,” said Elaine A. Sarsynski, Executive Vice President of MassMutual and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MassMutual International LLC. “This positions MassMutual to be a strong competitor in this market while enhancing the organization’s overall corporate diversification and enabling us to leverage our competencies. We’re confident this transition will deliver significant long-term value for our policyholders.”

State Grid had the following comment on the transaction: “Since 2007, State Grid has gone through broad search, careful selection and thorough diligence based on the needs of Yingda Life Insurance’s long-term growth, and ultimately selected MassMutual as the strategic partner. The main reasons for selecting MassMutual include the shared view and philosophy by both partners on Chinese insurance market development, and MassMutual’s 158 years of experience and vast expertise and knowledge of international insurance products and operations, particularly MassMutual’s experience in operating insurance businesses in Asia and other developing countries. Through this strategic collaboration and partnership, we hope to form a strong alliance and complement each other via our respective strengths, to jointly grow Yingda Life Insurance into a leading life insurance company in China, and create a promising future for customers, shareholders, the company and employees.”

Rodney J. Dillman, President of MassMutual International LLC, noted that State Grid’s strong reputation coupled with MassMutual’s insurance expertise will help provide Yingda Life Insurance with substantial growth potential and national recognition. “Yingda Life Insurance’s objective is not only to be a leader and trusted brand in China, but to be internationally respected for the quality of its assets, services and performance,” Mr. Dillman said. “MassMutual is committed to helping make Yingda Life Insurance a highly regarded and successful insurance company.”

MassMutual International has been operating in Asia since 2000 and its Asian operations are based in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan. Through its subsidiaries, MassMutual International offers insurance, annuities, critical health care coverage and other financial products to more than 1.9 million people. In 2008, the company reported total insurance sales of more than $2.5 billion, assets under management of $19.8 billion and total premium of $5 billion. The company intends to leverage its life insurance expertise in Asia and the United States to provide Yingda Life Insurance with support in management, actuarial, risk management, product development and distribution.

“Now more than ever before, consumers are valuing companies with outstanding financial strength, diversified product portfolios and proven track records of strong performance,” Sarsynski said. “It is these strengths that are enabling MassMutual to maintain high levels of performance relative to the current environment, and we look forward to working closely with Yingda Life Insurance to bring these strengths to consumers in mainland China.”


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