AXA announced today that following a strategic review conducted by AXA UK of the UK Life & Savings market, it has agreed to sell its wrap platform business (‘Elevate’) to Standard Life plc. This transaction follows the announcement made on April 28th for the disposal of its UK offshore investment bonds business (‘AXA Isle of Man’).
Completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of regulatory approvals, and is expected to occur in the second semester 2016.
AXA also confirms that it is engaged in discussions for the disposal of its remaining UK Life & Savings assets, namely its direct protection business (‘SunLife’) and its traditional (non-platform) investment and pension business. There is no certainty these discussions will result in a further transaction being signed or, if signed, that the transaction will ultimately be completed. If agreed, this transaction would be subject to a number of conditions including the receipt of regulatory approvals.
AXA UK Property & Casualty, Health and Asset Management (‘Architas’) operations are not included in the scope of the strategic review, nor of these transactions.
Chief Executive Officer of AXA UK
Following the successful achievement of our Ambition AXA five-year strategic plan, we have reviewed the strategic benefits of pursuing our activities in the UK Life & Savings market. After detailed consideration, we have come to the conclusion that these businesses could be even more successful if supported by organisations with a stronger strategic focus on the Life & Savings segment. These transactions would allow AXA to rebalance the focus of its UK activities towards Property & Casualty, Health and Asset Management. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the teams for their valuable contribution to building strong, innovative and market leading businesses over the past years.
The overall consideration for the sale of the UK Life & Savings businesses included in the contemplated transactions is currently expected to amount to ca. GBP 650 million (or ca. Euro 830 million (1)). In the event that the parties reach a definitive agreement and the transactions are completed, they would generate an exceptional negative P&L impact of ca. Euro 0.4 billion accounted for in net income (2).
(1) 1 EUR = 0.78516 GBP as of May 2, 2016 (Source: Bloomberg)
(2) As previously communicated, AXA also expects to realize an exceptional gain of ca. USD 1.1 billion (or ca. Euro 1.0 billion) after tax on the disposal of two real estate properties in the US, which will be accounted for in Net Income during the first half of 2016.