Posted on Apr 20, 2010 by Sergio Ulloa
The takeover bid for AXA Asia Pacific Holdings Ltd. (AAP) by the National Australia Bank (NAB) and the French insurance company AXA SA (AXA) has been blocked by the competition watchdog of Australia, citing the fact that it would reduce competition in the domestic Australian retail investment arena.
Towards the end of last month, NAB had offered US$12.2 billion (EUR 9 billion) to take over the Australian and New Zealand assets of AAP. AXA would have sold to NAB the 53.9 percent of AAP shares it owns, followed by AXA buying back the Asian assets of the target.
A similar deal had been struck with wealth manager AMP Ltd. (AMP), which failed to gain the favour of the independent directors of AAP towards the end of last year.
NAB has six weeks to address the concerns raised by the regulator. Meanwhile, AMP may reformulate a bid that could receive the blessings of both the independent directors of AAP and the competition watchdog of Australia.
AXA Asia Pacific Holdings Ltd. (AAP) is responsible for the Global AXA Group's life insurance and wealth management businesses in the Asia-Pacific region. We have operations in Hong Kong SAR, China, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, India, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand. Established as National Mutual in Australia in 1869, AXA Asia Pacific has grown significantly over time. In 1995, the company demutualised and AXA SA acquired 51% of the company. National Mutual listed on the Australian and New Zealand stock exchanges in October 1996 and adopted the AXA brand in 1999.
AXA Group is a worldwide leader in Financial Protection. AXA's operations are diverse geographically, with major operations in Europe, North America and the Asia/Pacific area.
National Australian Bank (NAB) is a financial services organisation of nearly 40,000 people, more than 1800 branches and service centres, and more than 450,000 shareholders. NAB provides products, advice and services through its major Australian franchise and businesses in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, the United States and Asia. NAB is motivated to make a positive and sustainable impact in the lives of their customers and communities, and so build a business that can deliver on their goal of superior returns to shareholders.
AMP Group (AMP) is one of Australia's largest retail and corporate superannuation providers, and one of the region's most significant investment managers with more than A$104 billion in assets under management (as at 30 June 2009), with a market-leading network of more than 2,000 qualified financial planners. AMP Limited has one of Australia's largest shareholder registers, with more than 820,000 shareholders. Individual investors comprise around 46 per cent of AMP's shareholder base and live in more than 100 countries around the world. Institutional investors constitute around 54 per cent. AMP traces its heritage back to 1849 as a mutual company, AMP Limited listed on the Australian and New Zealand Stock Exchanges in mid-1998.