Merger mooted to form the “leading global P&C commercial lines player”

AXA plans to acquire 100% of XL Group for $15.3bn, according to announcements made today.

Reports outline that the acquisition will create the “leading global P&C commercial lines player across all lines”.

The acquisition will accelerate AXA’s exit strategy from existing US operations.

AXA chief executive Thomase Buberl said: “XL Group has the right geographical footprint, world-class teams with recognised expertise and is renowned for innovative client solutions. Our combined P&C Commercial lines operations, will have a strong position in the large and upper mid-market space, including in specialty lines and reinsurance, and will complement and further enhance AXA’s already strong presence in the SME segment.”

XL Group chief executive Mike McGavick said: “Today marks an unrivalled opportunity to accelerate our strategy with a new strength and dimension. With every confidence in how we have positioned XL Group for the future, it is a substantial testament to AXA’s leadership and commitment to maintaining the XL Group brand and culture that we have come to an alignment.”

He added: ”We are excited at the opportunity to build the scale, geographical footprint, product portfolio, and the unmatched commitment to innovation that relevance in the global insurance industry requires.”

Under the terms of the transcation, XL Group shareholders will receive $57.60 per share, representing a premium of 33% to XL Group closing price on 2 March.

Debevoise & Plimpton acted as legal advisor to AXA for the deal. The Debevoise team was led by New York partners David Grosgold and John Vasily, and included partner James C. Scoville, consultant Clare Swirski and international counsel Benjamin Lyon in London, and partner Edwin Northover in Hong Kong.

Completion is expected to take place in H2 of 2018.