RSA Set to Sell Life Business, But To Whom’

July 9, 2001

Newspaper reports indicate that Britain’s Royal & Sun Alliance is on the verge of completing a £2 billion ($2.8 billion) deal to sell its life and pension units, but different potential buyers are named, and so far the company has made no comment.

According to the Sunday Times, Dutch insurer Aegon is currently in exclusive talks with RSA and hopes to announce a deal soon. But a report from Bloomberg News Service names Eureko, which is also based in the Netherlands, as the potential buyer.

What is certain is that RSA will either sell or securitize its life and pension units. CEO Bob Mendelsohn has announced that the company intends to focus on its property/casualty business, a strategy very much at odds with most insurers, who are seeking to build up their life operations.

RSA, currently the U.K.’s second largest p/c insurer, has been aggressively acquiring the policies and customers of failed insurer Independent from PriceWaterhouseCoopers, who are handling the company’s liquidation.

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