ZURICH (Reuters) - Swiss Re’s (SRENH.S) UK-based ReAssure unit has agreed to buy the life insurance and pensions division of Quilter (QLT.L) for 425 million pounds ($515.19 million), just weeks after the reinsurer halted plans to list the business in London.
The Zurich-based company last month shelved its plans for a $4.1 billion flotation of ReAssure, citing weak demand from institutional investors.
The acquisition showed Swiss Re remained “fully supportive of ReAssure as the company continues to pursue its growth strategy,” Thierry Leger, Chief Executive of Swiss Re’s Life Capital Business said in a statement on Monday.
The purchase helps bulk up Swiss Re’s closed book business, which deals in policies that are shut to new customers and where scale is important to generate profit.
It will add over 200,000 customer policies and 12 billion pounds of assets to ReAssure’s platform, Swiss Re said.
Wealth manager Quilter, spun out of Anglo-South African insurance company Old Mutual last year, announced the sale as it published its first-half results showing pre-tax losses of 32 million pounds, compared to a profit of 2 million pounds in the first half of 2018, partly due to a one-off charge from the split with Old Mutual.
Adjusted profit rose 5% to 115 million pounds from 110 million in the first half of 2018, while assets under management and administration rose by 1.6% to 118.4 billion pounds.
The business Reassure is buying consists of Old Mutual Wealth Life Assurance Limited and its subsidiary Old Mutual Wealth Pensions Trustees Limited and includes about 300 employees.
The transaction will increase ReAssure’s total policy count to 4.5 million and assets under administration to 81 billion pounds, Swiss Re said.
The world’s second largest reinsurer had wanted to spin off ReAssure to put the business under a more favorable regulatory regime and give it easier access to capital to fund its expansion.
The flotation has now been put on ice until at least next year, with Swiss Re saying long-term options remained open.
($1 = 0.8249 pounds)
Reporting by John Revill, additional reporting by Clara Denina; editing by Riham Alkousaa and Kirsten Donovan