Rothesay Life confirms purchase of £12bn annuity portfolio from Prudential

Prudential to spin off UK and European business

"Investors will end up with shares in two separately listed businesses on the London Stock Exchange; both are expected to qualify for the FTSE 100 index".

James Mullins Partner and Head of Risk Transfer Solutions at Hymans Robertson commented on the transaction, "Today's announcement that £12 billion of Prudential's existing annuity portfolio will transfer to Rothesay Life, combined with the recent news that Phoenix is taking on Standard Life's annuity portfolio means that the total value of annuity liabilities taken on by the eight insurers now active in the buy-in and buy-out market is expected to be around £40 billion in 2018, before allowing for any further consolidation of insurer annuity business".

Following the demerger, Prudential plc will remain headquartered in the United Kingdom and retain its premium listing on the London Stock Exchange, its primary listing in Hong Kong, and other listings in Singapore and NY. It will be led by current group chief executive Mike Wells.

Prior to the demerger, the group's debt capital position will be re-balanced across Prudential and M&G Prudential, which may include the redemption or debt liability management of issued debt, and new debt issuance.

M&G Prudential will be a savings and investment provider in the United Kingdom and Europe, while Prudential plc will be an global insurance group targeting growth opportunities in Asia, the U.S. and Africa.

Meanwhile, Prudential also announced the sale of a £12 billion (US$16.7 billion) of United Kingdom annuity portfolio to Rothesay Life, in line with its strategy to transition towards a more capital light business model.

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Jason Hollands of Tilney Investment said: "The news that Prudential is to split and spin-out its asset management dominated M&G Prudential business as a separately listed United Kingdom company is arguably a long overdue development".

The aim is to turn M&G Prudential into a more capital-efficient and customer-focused business, as the business targets increasing demand for its retirement and savings offering.

Following completion, Rothesay Life will be the largest specialist annuity insurer in the UK.

The transition to a Part VII transfer will see all of the underlying assets and policy liabilities transferred to Rothesay Life, subject to regulatory and court approval.

The group announced plans to combine its United Kingdom savings and investments businesses to create a single entity named M&G Prudential in August.

In response to the announcement, Aon partner John Baines said: "This market development is the culmination of a long process and during that period it's pleasing that appetite for pension scheme transactions remained undiminished and pricing remained very attractive, even in the context of a mega deal in the market".


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