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Phoenix pulls out of talks to sell European business

Phoenix pulls out of talks to sell European business

Life insurer Phoenix Group is no longer looking to sell its European business and has confirmed that discussions over the potential sale have stopped.

Back in May, the firm confirmed it was in advanced discussions over the sale of the business, in a deal reportedly worth up to £550m.

But today (June 15), the group said the board has concluded that selling the business would not maximise shareholder value and therefore discussions have been discontinued.

It said it had received “unsolicited expressions of interest” for Phoenix Europe and had recently been in advanced discussions with a third party about a potential sale.

In a statement the company said: “Phoenix Europe continues to offer the group strategic optionality. 

“Phoenix will now progress a range of management actions to maximise shareholder value whilst ensuring we continue to support our customers and colleagues.”

Phoenix Europe covers the life insurance market, with operations across Ireland, Germany and the UK offshore savings market.

Last year (August 5), Phoenix restructured its UK business model and created five new divisions to drive growth in its pensions business.

The five divisions form part of its Open business arm, which manufactures and underwrites long-term savings and retirement products, and runs alongside its heritage arm and newly acquired ReAssure business.

More recently, the group bought the Standard Life brand name in February after it bought Standard Life Aberdeen’s insurance arm in August 2018 for £3.28bn.

SLA is now in the process of rebranding to Abrdn.

amy.austin@ft.com

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