Preston pensions specialist announces £39m acquisition

John Deane
X The Business Desk

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Chesnara, the Preston-based international life insurance firm, has announced an agreement with Sanlam UK to buy Sanlam Life & Pensions for £39m, with the deal expected to complete early next year.

Chesnara says the acquisition from Sanlam, which is based in South Africa, will enhance the scale of its operations in the UK, adding £2.9bn of assets under administration and around 80,000 policies.

The purchase will be funded from Chesnara’s existing debt facility.

The SLP business will be integrated into Countrywide Assured, Chesnara’s UK platform. SLP will retain a commercial relationship with Sanlam Investments UK, for investment management.

John Deane, Chesnara chief executive, said: “We are delighted to announce this transaction which will expand the scale of our UK operations and deliver potential for material value creation for Chesnara. The expected incremental cash generation from SLP will enhance the sustainability of our progressive dividend strategy.

“SLP’s business is well aligned to Chesnara’s acquisition strategy and will be integrated with our existing UK operations. We look forward to welcoming SLP’s customers and staff to the Chesnara Group and continuing to work with Sanlam on the management of SLP assets.”

He added: “We believe that the market prospects for further acquisitions across our target markets remain positive and we continue to be confident in our ability to finance and execute such transactions on attractive terms for both vendors and our shareholders.”

Jonathan Polin, Sanlam UK chief executive, said: “This deal is a testament to the strength and quality of SLP and its long standing track record of excellent client service.

“I would like to thank all my colleagues there for their unstinting efforts. Chesnara is a highly respected and established life insurance and pensions consolidator and I am confident that the business will flourish under its new ownership for the benefit of all its key stakeholders, including policyholders.”