Legal & General in advanced talks to sell Dutch operations to Chesnara

Rebecca Smith
Good news for Chesnara which looks set to snap up L&G's Dutch arm
Good news for Chesnara which looks set to snap up L&G's Dutch arm (Source: Getty)

Legal & General (L&G) is in advanced talks to sell its Dutch arm to Chesnara, with an announcement of the sale expected later this week.

According to Sky News, Chesnara, the London-listed owner of Countrywide Assured, is in talks to buy the overseas unit of L&G and is expected to pay around £130m for the Dutch operations.

The division has apparently been deemed non-core by the board at L&G, making up just a small part of the FTSE 100 firm’s business. The sale will form part of the exit strategy from non-core businesses, as it bolsters its presence in larger pension transfers.

Read more: Legal & General to double new business sales in retirement division in 2016

The insurance and savings giant sold L&G France at the end of 2015, to Apicil Prévoyance, after shipping off assets in Ireland and Egypt.

L&G’s chief executive Nigel Wilson has been focusing on long-term infrastructure opportunities and insuring corporate pension liabilities such as a £1.1bn scheme managed by Rolls-Royce Holdings.

The company announced earlier this month that retirement sales in the year to date were £6.7bn, made up of £6.3bn in annuities and £400m in lifetime mortgages. L&G recently picked up Aegon's book of annuities, worth £3bn.

Chesnara, which has a market value of just over £400m, is expected to seek new capital from investors to back the acquisition, according to analysts.

L&G declined to comment.

The deal would mark the latest in a flurry of deals involving European insurance firms of late. Earlier this year, Rothesay Life sealed a deal to take on £6bn of pension liabilities from Dutch insurer Aegon, beating rivals, including L&G to the punch.

Read more: Why Legal & General's share price is down when its profits are up

Aegon said it would allow the firm to focus on its UK savings platform, which caters for workplace pension schemes.

More recently, Axa sold its insurance brokerage Bluefin to rival brokerage Marsh in a £295m deal.

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