AXA Asia Pacific directors green-light AMP bid
The directors of French wealth manager AXA's Asia-Pacific arm Thursday said they had reached unanimous agreement on a revived takeover offer from Australian insurer AMP.
AXA Asia Pacific Holdings (AXA APH) said the lone director who had requested more information on the 13 billion dollar (12.8 billion US) deal had concluded it was "in the best interests" of shareholders.
"Consequently AXA APH's independent directors now unanimously recommend the proposal, subject to no superior offer being made and to the review of an independent expert," AXA said in a statement.
AMP welcomed the news, saying the merged businesses would have a "significant share in one of the world's fastest growing and most successful wealth management markets".
Under the offer, AMP would merge AXA's Australian and New Zealand businesses with its own and sell AXA's Asian operations to its French parent company AXA SA, allowing that firm to expand its footprint in the developing region.
The new AMP offer, made on Monday, comes after its play last year for AXA APH was trumped by a higher offer from major Australian bank NAB. The NAB bid was then dropped in September twice being rejected by competition regulators.
AMP said the deal was expected to be put to shareholders for a vote by the end of the first quarter 2011, with regulatory approvals and due diligence still incomplete.
© 2010 AFP