Resolution buys Winterthur Life
In a stock exchange announcement this morning, Resolution revealed Friends Life will acquire Winterthur Life UK from Axa UK tomorrow (30 November), in a deal worth more than £2.7bn.
This transaction, which completes the acquisition of companies from Axa UK announced in June 2010, follows the completion of two other schemes to transfer out certain portfolios of business that Resolution did not want to buy.
Resolution bought Friends Provident in 2009 for £2bn as part of its strategy of consolidating life offices and stripping out costs. Axa was snapped up by Resolution in 2010.
Axa bosses said the purchase price would be payable in a combination of cash for £2.25bn and senior deferred consideration notes for £500m.
At the time the deal was announced Axa bosses stressed Axa’s wealth management businesses, worth £5.5bn, were not be included in the deal.
Axa’s wealth businesses included the Elevate wrap, Winterthur, Architas Multi-Manager, Axa Isle of Man and the Bluefin advisory businesses. Axa’s general insurance operations were also not part of the deal.
Resolution also announced this morning that it has been given the go-ahead by the High Court to transfer parts of Axa UK to Friends Life Group.
According to Resolution bosses, capital synergies delivered by parts of Axa UK becoming part of Friends Life will enable them to deliver £250m cash return to shareholders in 2012, subject to market conditions and regulatory approvals.
Yesterday Axa announced that it was selling the advisory arm of Bluefin, after appointing Fenchurch Advisory Partners in the wake of several expressions of interest.