AXA UK Offers to Acquire SBJ Group

March 5, 2008

AXA Advisory Holdings announced that it has made a formal offer to purchase 100 percent of the share capital of SBJ Group. The offer has been unanimously recommended by the Board of SBJ and will be submitted to its shareholders.

AXA said acquiring SBJ would “complement and enhance AXA’s UK advisory and broking capability, bringing a number of strengths to the group, including increased scale, a wider national presence and access to new market areas.”

AXA described SBJ, as being composed of four principal business units: “SBJ Benefit Consultants Limited, including its online pension solution Orbit Benefits, is a leading employee benefit consultancy, which complements AXA’s existing Thinc and PIFC operations while adding considerable scale.

SBJ UK Limited, is a major insurance broker and risk management consultant focused on the mid-corporate market. The addition of this business will expand AXA’s SME market offering currently represented by Venture Preference Ltd. and enhances the proposition for larger corporate clients.

In addition, SBJ Limited is a leading Lloyd’s broker providing access for its international network of long-standing intermediary partners into the London insurance market. Helix UK Limited provides claims and recovery services to the insurance industry. These two businesses bring a new dimension to AXA’s operations.

The bulletin stressed that acquiring SBJ would “represent significant progress towards AXA’s stated strategic aim of building a leading presence in the advisory and broking markets. The businesses will continue to operate independently of AXA’s insurance company interests.”

AXA UK Chief Executive Nicolas Moreau called the offer an “exciting opportunity,” and expressed his confidence that “SBJ’s shareholders will respond positively.”

George Boden, Chief Executive of SBJ commented: “SBJ has grown substantially in both business and staff over the last five years and we foresee a period of further sustained growth as part of AXA who will provide firm support for our business plans.’
Source : AXA UK – www.axa.co.uk

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