If the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Mutuals could have its way, it would rather have mutual insurance giant Royal London snap up Liverpool Victoria Financial Services Limited (LV=) instead of the latter being acquired by private investment firm Bain Capital Credit LP.
The APPG’s assertion comes amid new reports that Royal London – which declined to comment when contacted by Insurance Business earlier this year about its supposed LV= bid – is mulling reviving its offer to become the new owner of the savings, retirement, and protection group.
LV= recently published a Member Vote Pack to outline what it said are the expected financial benefits for members if the Bain Capital deal gets the go-ahead. A report by The Times suggests that Royal London might step in if LV= fails to secure support from its members.
Two votes are happening on December 10, at LV=’s members’ meeting and a special general meeting.
“Bain Capital was the only option that offered both an excellent financial outcome for members and gave unrivalled support for the LV= brand, our people, and locations,” stated LV= chair Alan Cook last week. “While none of the bids would have allowed LV= to remain as a standalone mutual, this deal provides the highest distribution to With-profits policyholders compared to continuing with ‘business as usual’ or closing to new business.
“We urge members to carefully read the information in the Member Vote Pack and join our upcoming webinars. The board and I truly believe that this is the right way forward, enabling us to embark on the next exciting chapter of the LV= story, and recommend that members vote in favour of our plans.”
The APPG, as indicated in its tweet, is strongly urging LV= members to vote against the £530 million transaction. Gareth Thomas MP, the Labour (Co-op) MP for Harrow West who chairs the mutuals APPG, has been a staunch critic of the proposed acquisition.
In October, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) confirmed its non-objection to LV= putting its proposal to member votes.
Meanwhile Thomas, according to the Daily Mail, told the regulator on November 08: “It is now clear that the two most valuable bids received by the Liverpool Victoria board were from Bain Capital and crucially, another mutual, Royal London.
“Will you confirm what many have explicitly suggested; that Royal London offered more money than Bain Capital?”
As of this writing, the FCA has not issued an update to its earlier statement on LV=.