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Friends to build up offshore with two R&SA buys

Friends Provident has bought two of Royal & Sun Alliance&#39s offshore businesses in a deal worth £133m, giving it the ability to sell offshore bonds to UK-based investors.

The deal includes Isle of Man-based R&SA International Financial Services and Luxemburg-based Sicav provider R&SA Investment Management.

Friends has an international arm in Guernsey that sells to overseas investors but the R&SA Isle of Man deal allows it to sell multi-currency offshore bonds back to the UK. Friends plans to expand the Isle of Man base to include a with-profits fund. It also wants to use R&SA&#39s Hong Kong base to get a foothold in the Far East. The R&SA name will disappear.

The move follows the £240m acquisition of R&SA Investment Managers by Friends Ivory & Sime last month, in which Friends has a majority stake.

Friends director of international operations Adrian Nurse says: “We have acquired a well respected company and our products and capabilities complement each other. We want to introduce with-profits in to the Isle of Man and develop multi-currency products, which up to now we have not had.”

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