PRIVATE equity firm, Cinven has agreed to buy Lytham-based Guardian Life and Pension business for £275m.
The firm, which employs around 170 people, manages more than 300,000 life insurance policies in the UK and has been closed to new business since 2001.
Cinven has bought the business from Insurance giant Aegon, and has reached an agreement with the Netherlands-based firm to manage its assets, totalling some £7.4bn, in the long term,
The firm say jobs at the site will be protected as part of the move, with all staff transferred to Cinven.
Aegon chief financial officer Jan Nooitgedagt said: “Aegon concluded that managing the closed business of Guardian companies no longer fits with our strategic objectives.
“We remain committed to the United Kingdom and to maximizing the opportunities of Aegon’s chosen markets, Workplace Savings and At Retirement, which includes individual protection.”
The acquisition of Guardian provides Cinven with an attractive entry point into the UK closed life market and a strong platform from which to execute a consolidation strategy for the sector.
Caspar Berendsen, a partner at Cinven, said: “Cinven’s financial services team has invested considerable time in developing its strategy for the closed life market and believes it represents an excellent investment opportunity with attractive returns.
“Guardian is an ideal entry point for us into the market and provides us with a strong platform from which to deploy further capital to create a leading closed life consolidator.”
Guardian, established in 1821, is the collective trading name for Guardian Assurance plc, Guardian Linked Life Assurance Ltd and Guardian Pensions Management Ltd.
This is the third Financial Services investment originated by Cinven in its current fund, the first two being Partnership Assurance, the leading provider of enhanced annuities to UK retirees, and Avolon, a leading provider of aircraft lease finance.
Cinven is a leading European buyout firm, focused on building world class firms in six key sectors: business services, financial services, healthcare, industrials, consumer, and media.