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Axa seals $19.7 billion takeover

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Bermuda-based global insurer XL Group is to be acquired by French insurer Axa to create what it says will be the leading global property & casualty commercial insurer.

In its regular bulletin earlier today, insuranceNEWS.com.au reported a deal between the two companies was in the final stages of negotiation, with most sources not expecting a decision before the end of this week.

The sale price is $US15.3 billion ($19.76 billion), to be paid in cash.

The XL operations, including Lloyd’s insurer Catlin which it acquired in 2015, will be absorbed into Axa Corporate Solutions, forming the French insurer’s new global P&C insurance and reinsurance division.

XL Catlin's Australian branch has offices in Sydney and Melbourne and offers property, casualty, professional, marine, construction, upper middle market and environmental coverage.

In a note to contacts around the world, XL Group CEO Mike McGavick says the two companies “have highly complementary portfolios, and together we will be able to offer market-leading underwriting capabilities globally, across a diverse range of risks and covering the complete corporate spectrum – from SMEs to large corporates”.

XL Group Vice-President Greg Hendrick will immediately become President and COO, and following the sale will join the Axa board and lead the new P&C business.

Mr McGavick, who will become the vice-chairman of the new P&C business board and a special adviser to Axa CEO Thomas Burberl, says he expects the P&C leadership team to be comprised of “the best talent both companies have to offer, noting that the majority of the combined workforce going in will come from XL Catlin”.