Royal London sells offshore arm to private equity firm

Royal London Group has agreed to sell off its offshore investment business Royal London 360° and its subsidiaries to private equity firm Vitruvian Partners and senior management for an undisclosed sum.

The group says in a statement that the buyout will help the business grow more quickly. There will be no job losses as a result of the deal and 360°’s executive management team led by chief executive David Kneeshaw will remain intact.

The statement adds that Royal London Group will continue to support 360° with an element of long-term financing. Reinsurance group Munich Re and Vitruvian will also provide support and capital respectively.

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Founded in 2009 through the merger of Scottish Life International and Scottish Provident International, 360° offers a range of offshore investment, savings and tax planning products to investors based around the world. The company manages funds in excess of £2bn.

Phil Loney, chief executive of the RLG said: “RLG has been approached on several occasions with proposals for the purchase of RL360° and we had a duty to our members to explore any potential financial benefits from these transactions.

“None of these previous approaches were capable of being fulfilled. However, the RLG board has concluded that the proposal put forward by the RL360° management team does make compelling financial and strategic sense for all parties.”

David Kneeshaw, chief executive of RL 360°, said: “We believe this transaction is the first of its type in the offshore life space and it allows us to follow a long-term plan with the capital stability we require to continue to expand our business internationally and enhance our platform linked approach with the UK.

“We remain fully committed to our existing products, markets, partners and customers. Once the transaction is completed we will move swiftly to realise RL360°’s existing growth plans.”