£2.35bn deal conditional to Standard Life offer being completed

Swiss Re today signed an agreement to acquire certain Resolution closed life books from Standard Life for a fixed price of £2.35bn, conditional on Standard Life’s offer to acquire Resolution being completed.

Under this contract, Swiss Re will purchase around 4.5 million Resolution policies and assets of approximately £31bn from Standard Life.

Jacques Aigrain, chief executive officer of Swiss Re, commented: “This transaction demonstrates the size of the potential opportunities for our Admin Re business and the role that it plays in steering our capital towards the most attractive returns. We expect this business to provide returns above our benchmark targets. The transaction fits perfectly within our Admin Re business and will further expand our capacity for future transactions. It also demonstrates that our clear commitment to cycle management in our property and casualty business does not diminish our ability to grow earnings.”

According to the agreement signed today, Swiss Re will acquire certain Resolution assets from Standard Life, including the life operations Phoenix Life, Phoenix & London and Phoenix Pensions and the operations supporting these entities.

Collectively, these entities manage approximately 4.5 million policies on behalf of their customers together with assets of approximately £31bn.

Swiss Re has reached an agreement with Standard Life on the terms under which Standard Life will manage around £24bn of these assets on behalf of unit-linked and with-profits policyholders.

The closing is subject to the completion of Standard Life’s offer to acquire Resolution.

Swiss Re expects to finance the transaction through a combination of debt and internal resources.

Swiss Re’s share buy-back programme, as announced on 1 March 2007, is unaffected by this transaction.