R&SA to Sell Rothschild Stake to Hong Kong’s Jardine

The U.K.’s Royal & SunAlliance announced that it has agreed to sell its 21.5 percent shareholding in Rothschilds Continuation Holdings AG. Jardine Strategic Holdings Limited, a Hong Kong-based subsidiary of Jardine Matheson, will acquire 20 percent and the Rothschilds Continuation Holdings Employee Share Trust will acquire the remaining 1.5 percent. The deal is subject to regulatory approvals

“The transaction follows discussions over the last few months and is a disposal of a strategic holding which is no longer core to the business,” said R&SA’s bulletin.

Under CEO Andy Haste the U.K.’s second largest general insurer has been selling off non-core units in order to concentrate on its insurance activities in The U.K., Scandinavia and Europe.

R&SA said the total cash to be received for the shares is £108.7 million ($198 million). It also noted that “the 2005 final dividend, yet to be declared, will also be paid to Royal & SunAlliance. The 2004 final dividend was CHF22 ($1.74) per share. The pre tax gain on disposal will be approximately £60 million ($109.2 million) and will be treated as an exceptional item outside of the Operating Result in the management basis income statement.”