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AMP Renews Interest in Axa Asia Pacific Holdings

Posted on Nov 08, 2010 by Sergio Ulloa ()

AXA, the France based insurer, has reportedly entered talks with Australian wealth management group AMP in a bid to take over AXA Asia Pacific Holdings Ltd. The joint bid - in excess of A$ 10 billion (US$ 10 billion) - has come to light after previous takeover pursuers National Australia Bank (NAB) had their bid rejected by regulators. The potential deal follows the failed takeover valued at A$13. 3 billion (US$13.5 billion) for AXA Asia Pacific Holdings Ltd by National Australia Bank (NAB) after it was blocked by the Australian competition watchdog, which ended NAB's pursuit. It has now emerged that AMP has entered into fresh talks with AXA to acquire AXA Asia Pacific. It is thought unlikely that AMP will be able to top their 2009 bid of A$12.2 billion (US$12.2 billion), which was comprised of cash-and-shares. A previous move by AMP in 2009 would have seen France's AXA SA takeover AXA Asia Pacific's Asian operations, with the Australia and New Zealand operations left to AMP. Initially, AXA teamed up with AMP, but that approach was rejected; subsequently AXA launched an improved deal with NAB which amounted to A$13.3 billion ($13.5 billion). This bid was finally blocked in September 2010 on the grounds of competition concerns. If the proposed bid is completed, AXA of France will assume direct control of the Asian arm of AXA Asia Pacific and gaining access to the fast-growing Asian region, while AMP will take control of the Australian and New Zealand operations. AXA Asia Pacific Holdings operates in Hong Kong SAR, China, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, India, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand, providing life insurance and wealth management services across the region. The potential joint agreement between AXA and AMP for AXA Asia Pacific is in the early stages of discussion, with all parties still seeking to agree basic terms; there is no official confirmation of transactions at this time. However, even though AMP's original bid was trumped by NAB, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission stated that AMP's possible acquisition of AXA Asia Pacific would not have an adverse impact on competition and Australian regulators would be minded to clear a revised bid on this basis. AXA is Europe's second-biggest insurer and has stated that emerging insurance markets remain a prime target for the group in order to boost its position on the global stage; the Asian region, therefore, offers significant potential for the international insurance company. AMP provides banking, loan, insurance, investments and retirement services, and, if successful in acquiring AXA Asia Pacific's New Zealand and Australia operations, will be able to enhance its presence in a mature Australia and New Zealand financial services market; a market which has remained robust since the global financial crises in 2007-2008. If the deal is completed, it will mean the French insurer AXA will strengthen its presence in the Asian region - a move which will see them increase their reach in countries such as China, India and Indonesia; countries which have emerged from the 2007-2008 world financial crisis as leading insurance markets. AXA recently entered into arrangement will ICBC of China, over the joint venture AXA-Minmetals in a move which will specifically reinforce operations in the Chinese insurance market. Companies Mentioned: AXA AXA life insurance and healthAXA Group is a worldwide leader in Financial Services. Headquartered in Paris, the AXA Group companies are engaged in life insurance, health insurance and asset management services among others. AXA's operations are diverse geographically, with major operations in Europe, North America and the Asia/Pacific area. APP AXA Asia PacificAXA 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. AMP AMP Group (AMP)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. NAB National Australian Bank (NAB)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.
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