R&SA in Talks to Sell U.K. Life Operations

June 21, 2004

Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Group has issued a brief announcement confirming that it “is in discussions regarding the disposal of its UK Life insurance operations.”

Widespread news reports began circulating on Friday that the U.K.’s second largest general insurer was close to a deal to sell its life busienss. The company said only that “these discussions are at an early stage and the amounts referred to in the press are purely speculative.”

Reports from Reuters and the Financial Times had indicated that R&SA was in discussions with the Resolution Life Group, a recently formed investment company established by Clive Cowdrey, former CEO of GE Insurance Holdings Europe.

Resolution, which is financially backed by the Fleming family, is reportedly offering R&SA £750 million ($1.375 billion) in cash and an additional £150 million ($275 million) in deferred payment for its life business.

R&SA’s bulletin noted that for some time the group has been “reviewing options for its UK Life insurance operations with respect to releasing capital.” It closed its U.K. life funds to new business last year.

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