Sun Life Financial and Khazanah Nasional Berhad agree to purchase CIMB Aviva

Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:58am EST

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Partnership creates a Malaysian insurance powerhouse backed by an
 international life insurance leader

TORONTO,  Jan. 17, 2013  /PRNewswire/ - Sun Life Financial Inc. (TSX: SLF)
 SLF) (Sun Life) and Khazanah Nasional Berhad (Khazanah) are
 establishing a strategic partnership to acquire 98 per cent of CIMB
 Aviva Assurance Berhad, a Malaysian life insurance company, and CIMB
 Aviva Takaful Berhad, a Malaysian takaful company (together, the
 Company), in a transaction valued at  1.80 billion Malaysian Ringgit
 (RM) (C$586 million). Sun Life and Khazanah are each paying  RM900
 million  (C$293 million) in respect of the transaction, which includes
 entering into a new 20-year exclusive bancassurance agreement with CIMB

Sun Life and Khazanah are each acquiring 49 per cent of the Company from
 Aviva International Holdings Limited and CIMB Group Holdings Berhad
 (CIMB Group), respectively. CIMB Group will retain a two per cent share
 in the Company.

The transaction includes an exclusive right to distribute insurance
 products, including takaful products, through CIMB Bank's network
 across  Malaysia. This network includes 312 branches across the country
 and eight million customers.

"This transaction is perfectly aligned with our strategy for expanding
 our footprint in  Asia," said  Kevin Strain, President, Sun Life
 Financial Asia. "With Khazanah and CIMB, we have very strong partners
 with a broad distribution platform, and we are investing in a country
 with one of the most developed economies in the ASEAN region and a
 growing middle class. The combination of Sun Life's global insurance
 experience, Khazanah's strategic and financial expertise as an investor
 in the region, and CIMB's strong banking presence, reputation and brand
 in  Malaysia  and throughout the region, will deliver excellent value to
 customers and make the Company a leader in the industry."

Khazanah's Managing Director,  Tan Sri Dato'  Azman bin Hj Mokhtar, said:
 "This is an important investment for Khazanah. It marks not just an
 opportunity to invest into an asset in a growth sector, but also brings
 together a unique commercial partnership among three strong parties in
 their respective areas. We are delighted to be partnering with Sun Life
 and CIMB."

"We look forward to working with the new bancassurance partners we have
 chosen after an extensive selection process. Bancassurance remains a
 core component of our wealth management proposition and we believe that
 the enhanced bancassurance agreement and potential regional synergies
 will enable our new partners to manufacture and support a more
 competitive product range for us to take to our customers," said Dato'
  Sri Nazir Razak, Group Chief Executive, CIMB Group.

The proposed acquisition by Sun Life and Khazanah is subject to
 regulatory approvals in  Canada  and  Malaysia. The transaction is
 expected to close by the first half of 2013.

Forward-Looking Statements

In this section, "we", "us", "our" and the "Company" refers to Sun Life
 Financial Inc. and its subsidiaries, joint ventures and associates.

Certain statements in this news release, including (i) statements
 concerning the anticipated timing and impact of the transactions
 described above, (ii) statements relating to our strategies, (iii)
 statements that are predictive in nature, (iv) statements that depend
 upon or refer to future events or conditions and (v) statements that
 include words such as "aim", "anticipate", "assumption", "believe",
 "could", "estimate", "expect", "goal", "intend", "may", "objective",
 "outlook", "plan", "project", "seek", "should", "initiatives",
 "strategy", "strive", "target", "will" and similar expressions are
 forward-looking statements. These statements represent our current
 expectations, estimates and projections regarding future events and are
 not historical facts. Forward-looking statements are not a guarantee of
 future performance and involve risks and uncertainties that are
 difficult to predict. Future results and shareholder value may differ
 materially from those expressed in these forward-looking statements due
 to, among other factors, the matters set out in in Sun Life Financial
 Inc.'s annual MD&A under the headings Critical Accounting Policies and
 Estimates and Risk Management and in Sun Life Financial Inc.'s AIF
 under the headings Risk Factors and the factors detailed in Sun Life
 Financial Inc.'s other filings with Canadian and U.S. securities
 regulators, including its annual and interim MD&A, and annual and
 interim Consolidated Financial Statements.

Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from
 expectations include, but are not limited to, the failure of the
 parties to obtain the required regulatory approvals or to otherwise
 satisfy the conditions to the completion of the transaction in a timely
 manner, economic uncertainty, market conditions that affect the
 Company's capital position or its ability to raise capital; changes or
 volatility in interest rates or credit/swap spreads; the performance of
 equity markets; credit risks related to issuers of securities held in
 our investment portfolio, debtors, structured securities, reinsurers,
 derivative counterparties, other financial institutions and other
 entities; risks in implementing business strategies; risk management;
 changes in legislation and regulations including capital requirements
 and tax laws; legal and regulatory proceedings, including inquiries and
 investigations; risks relating to product design and pricing;
 downgrades in financial strength or credit ratings; the ability to
 attract and retain employees; the performance of the Company's
 investments and investment portfolios managed for clients such as
 segregated and mutual funds; the impact of higher-than-expected future
 expenses; risks relating to mortality and morbidity, including the
 occurrence of natural or man-made disasters, pandemic diseases and acts
 of terrorism; risks relating to the rate of mortality improvement;
 risks relating to policyholder behaviour; risks related to liquidity;
 dependence on third-party relationships including outsourcing
 arrangements; the inability to maintain strong distribution channels
 and risks relating to market conduct by intermediaries and agents;
 breaches or failure of information system security and privacy,
 including cyber terrorism; business continuity risks; risks relating to
 financial modelling errors; risks relating to real estate investments;
 risks relating to estimates and judgements used in calculating taxes;
 the impact of mergers and acquisitions; risks relating to operations in
  Asia  including the Company's joint ventures; the impact of competition;
 fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rate; risks relating to the
 closed block of business; risks relating to the environment,
 environmental laws and regulations and third-party policies; and the
 availability, cost and effectiveness of reinsurance.

About Sun Life Financial

Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services
 organization providing a diverse range of protection and wealth
 accumulation products and services to individuals and corporate
 customers. Chartered in 1865, Sun Life Financial and its partners today
 have operations in key markets worldwide, including  Canada,  the United
 States, the  United Kingdom,  Ireland,  Hong Kong,  the Philippines,  Japan,
  Indonesia,  India,  China,  Vietnam  and  Bermuda. As of  September 30, 2012,
 the Sun Life Financial group of companies had total AUM of  C$515
 billion. For more information please visit

Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the  Toronto  (TSX),  New York  (NYSE) and
 Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.

About Khazanah Nasional Berhad

Khazanah Nasional Berhad is the strategic investment fund of the
 Government of  Malaysia  entrusted to hold and manage the commercial
 assets of the Government and to undertake strategic investments.
 Khazanah is involved in various sectors such as power,
 telecommunications, banking, healthcare, airport management,
 infrastructure, leisure & tourism, property development, broadcasting,
 investment holding, and technology. Some of the key listed companies in
 Khazanah's investment portfolio include Telekom Malaysia Bhd., Tenaga
 Nasional Bhd., CIMB Group, Axiata Group Bhd., IHH Healthcare Bhd.,
 Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd., and UEM Land Holdings Bhd. For further
 information on Khazanah, please visit

SOURCE  Sun Life Financial Inc.

Asia Contacts:

Sun Life Financial

Mei Velasquez

Head of Customer Marketing & Communications

Tel: +852-9199-6697

Khazanah Nasional Berhad

Mohd Asuki Bin Abas

Senior Vice-President, Managing Director's Office

Tel: +603-2034-0000

North American and U.K. Contacts:

Sun Life Financial

Media Relations Contact:

Frank Switzer

Vice-President, Corporate Communications

Tel: 416-979-4086

Investor Relations Contact:

Phil Malek

Vice-President, Investor Relations

Tel: 416-979-4198

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