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Axa close to sealing Thinc Destini deal

Axa is in acquisition talks with Thinc Destini and hopes to have the deal tied up soon.

It says Thinc Destini would continue to be run as independent advisory firm and Axa would use the deal to expand UK distribution and offer greater consumer ins- ight and a closer relationship to customers.

The move, exclusively revealed in Money Marketing in July, will mark Axa’s first foray into the adviser market. It is confident it can turn Thinc Destini into a profitable business and it would consider funding further acquisitions in the sector.

Chief executive Simon Chamberlain says: “There has been a great deal of specu-lation about the future of Thinc Destini in recent months. A number of major institutions have followed our progress closely and we are now at a stage in our development when there would be significant benefits to Thinc Destini and Axa if a deal is forthcoming as a result of these discussions.”

Thinc Destini, which has 700 advisers, valued itself at 109m in March.

Three directors, including Chamberlain, each have a 7 per cent share which would be worth around 7.6m each on this valuation.

Axa Sun Life chief executive Paul Evans says: “I have said I would not invest in advisers to acquire a minority interest as I do not think that is in the best interests of the IFA or the provider.

“It is our intention to acquire this entire business, which we see as having enormous potential for growth, either by acquisition or organically.

“We believe we can generate value for the shareholders and turn the business into a profitable one. We are confident this deal will take place quickly. We are just awaiting a statement to go out to shareholders before we can progress to the next stage.”

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