LONDON (Reuters) -Mutual insurer Liverpool Victoria Financial Services (LV=) has agreed to sell its savings & retirement and protection businesses to funds advised by private equity firm Bain Capital Credit LP for 530 million pounds ($706.54 million), the company said on Tuesday.
The deal will mark the end of the British insurer’s mutual structure, under which policyholders own the company.
LV=, which started selling life insurance in the northern English city of Liverpool in 1843, sold its general insurance operations to Germany’s Allianz last year, and said in June that it was considering a sale of its remaining business.
LV= CEO Mark Hartigan, who joined the firm at the beginning of 2020, said the business was put up for sale shortly after he started, as he looked at fresh ways of funding growth.
“In order to win out there, we have to be more commercially minded,” he told Reuters. “We have to secure long-term capital.”
Hartigan said the insurer had received 12 formal bids, from a mixture of private equity firms and trade buyers.
Bain Capital is a relative newcomer to UK insurance, though it took motor insurance company esure private in 2018.
Matt Popoli, Global Head of Insurance at Bain Capital Credit, said the firm looked forward to “delivering profitable growth, while preserving LV=’s strong financial position, independence and rich heritage.”
Under terms of the deal, LV=’s with-profits business will be ring-fenced in a separate fund and closed to new business.
The capital available for distribution is expected to increase by up to 40% as a result of the transaction and will be used to increase payments to with-profits members as their policies mature.
The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval, and approval from LV= members, and is expected to complete by the end of 2021.
Members will receive a cash payment to compensate them for loss of membership, though Hartigan declined to name the amount.
($1 = 0.7501 pounds)
Reporting by Sinead Cruise and Carolyn Cohn, editing by Huw Jones and Jane Merriman
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