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Insurer LV= members reject $700 million Bain takeover, Royal London makes approach

Mutual insurer LV= shareholders reject $700 million Bain takeover
Mutual insurer LV= shareholders reject $700 million Bain takeover   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021
By Reuters

LONDON -British mutual life insurer LV= on Friday abandoned a proposed 530 million pound ($701 million) takeover by private equity giant Bain Capital after it lost a member vote, and rival Royal London put forward an alternative proposal for the insurer.

The Bain deal had faced resistance from many of the 1.2 million members who currently own LV=, who said they were not being sufficiently compensated for the loss of the insurer’s mutual status.

The deal would have given LV= members 100 pounds each if it had gone ahead.

But a lawmakers’ report in April had said it was very difficult for LV= members to assess if demutualisation was in their best interests or not.

LV=, which was founded in 1843 to help people with funeral costs and was formerly known as Liverpool Victoria, needed support for the deal from 75% of members who voted, but only 69% backed it.

“We will continue to do everything possible to find a solution that can deliver a continuation of the LV= brand and security for our 1,300 employees,” Chairman Alan Cook said in a statement, adding that he intended to step down once a way forward had been found.

Royal London, a former bidder for the life insurer, said in a separate statement that it had offered to enter exclusive talks with LV= for a merger which would enable LV= members to remain part of a mutual insurer.

LV= said it would consider the proposal.

A spokesperson for Bain Capital said the firm respected the outcome of the vote and had “always wanted LV= to flourish”.

($1 = 0.7561 pounds)