Resolution is in talks to buy the majority of Axa UK’s life assurance businesses for £2.75bn.
The reverse takeover deal would create one of the UK’s largest protection and group pension providers and provide Resolution with an annuity book. It would trade under the Friends Prov banner.
Axa’s wealth management arm, including Architas, the Elevate wrap, Axa Isle of Man and the Axa Winterthur Wealth Management specialist pensions and investment operations, are not part of the deal. The acquisition also excludes IFA arm Bluefin, Axa’s health and general insurance businesses and Axa Investment Managers.
The deal would be funded by a £2bn rights issue and £0.5bn of deferred consideration notes as well as acquisition bank debt.
Resolution says it hopes to complete the deal by the end of June. It would follow Resolution’s £1.9bn acquisition of Friends Provident in August 2009 with Resolution looking for at least one more big deal to complete its life assurance consolidation business which would then be floated by 2013.
Resolution Operations chief executive John Tiner (pictured) says: “This acquisition would build strong momentum in Resolution’s life assurance consolidation project and provides a range of options for further activity.”