RL360° parent IFGL to buy Friends Provident International

Aviva has agreed to sell Friends Provident International (FPI) to RL360° parent International Financial Group Ltd (IFGL) for £340m (US$444m).

The £340m deal will be seen as a coup for the Isle of Man firm after months of speculation. The deal is the latest acquisition by the company and follows, as reported, the purchase of platform business Ardan International by IFGL– previously known as RL360 Group.

The ongoing speculation surrounding the sale of FPI by Aviva has, as reported, been in the pipeline for some time following a review that found that the business was not central to the group’s strategy, with a number of firms previously interested.

The £340m (US$444m) purchase price, is however, significantly lower than the £576m (US$750m) that some industry sources predicted earlier this year.

Once regulatory approval has been attained the acquisition will comprise £310m in cash receivables and a £30m deferred consideration in the form of preference shares in IFGL.

IFGL is the owner of the RL360°. RL360° Services and Ardan brands. In a statement this morning the company said that it has reached an agreement with the Aviva Group to acquire Friends Provident International Limited.

FPIL has £7.6bn in funds under management and its addition to IFGL will take the group’s combined assets to £15.9bn and its policies to 250,000.

‘Important milestone’

David Kneeshaw, pictured above, IFGL’s chief executive, said: “Welcoming FPIL to the IFGL Group’s already impressive stable fits with our stated long-term goal of high-quality acquisitions to complement our existing international business.

“FPIL’s strong franchise and its branch structure make the business an ideal fit with IFGL and we see significant opportunities for the businesses to work together and grow.

“The acquisition is an important milestone in our history and will create a combined Embedded Value* of over £1bn, leaving no doubt as to IFGL’s position as an important, key player in the life industry, as well as the offshore consolidation market.”

500 staff worldwide

FPI, which employs around 500 staff worldwide and services in the region of 180,000 policies, has its head office in the Isle of Man, where IFGL is also headquartered.

FPIL has more than 35 years of international experience providing savings, investment and protection products to customers across the globe, with a particular expertise in Asia and the Middle East.

Chris Wei, pictured left, executive chairman of Aviva Asia and FPI, said: “The sale of Friends Provident International Limited is a good outcome for Aviva. It allows us to focus on the significant opportunities we have to grow Aviva’s business across Asia through digital and disrupting the traditional insurance industry.”

There are no changes to FPI customers’ policies as a result of today’s announcement, the company said.

IFGL was formed in October 2013 to support the management led buyout of RL360 Insurance Company Limited (RL360°) from the Royal London Group, with the support of its financial backers Vitruvian Partners.

IFGL has a consistent record of growth in recent years having acquired CMI Insurance Company Ltd (now branded RL360° Services) in 2015 and wealth platform Ardan International the following year.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gary Robinson
Deputy Editor, International Investment and Head of Video at Open Door Media Publishing. A fully qualified journalist and filmmaker with more than 20 years' financial services experience, both as journalist and originally as an IFA.

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