Rivals eye up life insurer ReAssure after its planned £3bn float was pulled
Float flop: London-listed rival Phoenix is understood to have expressed an interest in purchasing ReAssure
Predators are circling life insurer ReAssure after its planned £3 billion float was canned last week.
The Mail on Sunday understands that London-listed rival Phoenix expressed an interest in purchasing ReAssure several months ago, in a move that would have created an £8 billion giant.
City sources said Phoenix, which specialises in buying up old books of life insurance business that other companies no longer want, may look to rekindle talks now that a flotation is off the table.
Last week reinsurance group Swiss Re pulled the £3 billion flotation of ReAssure, its British life insurance business, blaming weak investor demand.
Other bidders could include Rothesay Life.
In January, Sky News reported that Rothesay Life – another specialist life insurer, which is backed by American private equity giant Blackstone – approached Swiss Re about a £3.5 billion takeover of ReAssure.
The report said Rothesay, chaired by ex-Barclays banker Naguib Kheraj, was serious about making a formal offer for ReAssure.
Rothesay insures billions of pounds of pension liabilities for companies including British Airways, General Motors and InterContinental Hotels.
A spokesman for Phoenix declined to comment on its potential interest in ReAssure, apart from saying the group ‘always looks at appropriate acquisition opportunities’.
Swiss Re and ReAssure declined to comment.