LONDON – London’s High Court has ruled that the transfer of 12 billion pounds ($16.03 billion) in annuity policies from M&G to specialist insurer Rothesay Life can go ahead, Rothesay said on Wednesday, after the court originally blocked the move.
The deal – set to be the largest ever such transfer, covering 400,000 policyholders – was announced in 2018 at the time that British insurer Prudential, the annuities’ former manager, said it would split in two.
Financial terms of the transfer were not disclosed. The annuities, which pay pensioners a fixed income for life, have since been managed by Prudential’s former UK arm M&G.
The High Court initially blocked the transfer following representations from around 1,000 policyholders, who were wary about the financial strength of Rothesay, a major player in the sector.
But a UK court of appeal overturned that judgment last year, paving the way for a second transfer hearing.
Insurers frequently transfer books of business to one another, but the process requires court approval.
Industry sources say the annuity transfer market was hit by the initial ruling.
“The court’s decision has provided important clarity for our whole sector,” Rothesay said in a statement.
($1 = 0.7484 pounds)