Private equity firm to buy Dublin-based AXA Life Europe

The company says the sale will create cross-border consolidation

Private equity firm to buy Dublin-based AXA Life Europe

The logo on the roof of insurance group Axa, photographed in Cologne, Germany | Image: Oliver Berg/DPA/PA Images

International private equity firm Cinven has said it has entered into exclusive talks to acquire AXA Life Europe.

The Dublin-headquartered European life insurance company is set to be bought for some €925m.

AXA Life Europe mostly manages guaranteed, unit-linked life insurance products for customers across Germany, the UK, France, Spain, Italy and Portugal.

It also manages around 248,000 policies, some €8bn of assets and has around €5bn of reserves.

The company has been closed to new business since 2017.

Headquartered in the capital, it is also one of the largest cross-border life assurance centres in Europe.

Cinven has said it will be partnering with the existing management team, led by CEO Eoin Lynam.

Caspar Berendsen, partner at Cinven, said: "Over time we have managed to build a strong relationship with ALE (AXA Life Europe) and its management team and believe the opportunity for ALE is compelling.

"Cinven’s acquisition of ALE is a ‘repeat play’ of the consolidation platforms we have created though Guardian Financial Services in the UK, Eurovita in Italy, and Viridium in Germany.

"Cinven’s investment strategy in this case focuses on the consolidation of closed life funds with Variable Annuity offerings, primarily across Ireland and the Isle of Man.

"We have ambitious plans for this business and look forward to working alongside Eoin and his team to create value over the coming years."

While AXA Life Europe CEO Eoin Lynam added: "We are closely aligned in terms of the future strategy for the business and share a collective vision of the value creation plan, alongside ensuring that all stakeholders benefit from retaining a robust financial base and further enhanced asset and risk management strategies."

Completion of the sale is subject to some conditions, including approval by the Central Bank.

The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of 2018 or early 2019.