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Nippon Life to take 5% cornerstone stake in DWS’ initial public offering

Nippon Life Insurance Co. will acquire a 5% stake in Deutsche Bank's asset management arm, DWS Group GmbH & Co., as part of its planned initial public offering later this month to sell between 20% and 25% of the unit, according to separate announcements Monday by Deutsche Bank and Nippon Life.

Nippon Life's stake in the IPO, slated for March 23, will cement a strategic partnership under which Nippon Life will contribute assets for DWS to manage, while the two firms look for distribution opportunities and pursue joint product development, according to the Deutsche Bank release. Deutsche has €700 billion ($862.2 billion) in assets under management.

A Deutsche spokeswoman and a Nippon Life spokesman separately said no further details on those areas of cooperation are available at this time.

Deutsche said it plans to offer 40 million DWS shares, or 20% of the asset management firm's total, at a price of between €30 and €36 per share. An additional 10 million shares can be made available if demand warrants it.

The Nippon Life release said a representative of Nippon Life will become a member of the newly established supervisory board of DWS.

Nicolas Moreau, CEO of DWS, said his firm's strategic alliance with Nippon Life "will help accelerate our focus on growing in the Asia region," according to the Deutsche release. Alexander Prout, Asia-Pacific head for DWS, in an emailed statement likewise said the partnership's joint product development and distribution cooperation will bolster DWS' prospects in the region.

For its part, Nippon Life predicted the Japanese firm's investment in and partnership with DWS will "enhance our life insurance investment capabilities and asset management business," according to its release.