French multinational insurer Axa to boost its presence in London and Bermuda

Axa plans to acquire 100% of rival insurer XL Group for $15.3bn, both companies’ bosses have confirmed.

French insurer Axa said its acquisition would create the “leading global property and casualty (P&C) commercial lines player across all lines [of business]”.

Under the terms of the proposed transcation, XL Group shareholders will receive $57.60 per share.

That represented a premium of 33% to XL Group closing price on 2 March.

Axa chief executive, Thomas Buberl said: “XL Group has the right geographical footprint, world-class teams with recognised expertise and is renowned for innovative client solutions.

“Our combined P&C commercial lines operations, will have a strong position in the large and upper mid-market space, including in specialty lines and reinsurance, and will complement and further enhance Axa’s already strong presence in the SME segment,” Buberl said.

XL Group’s chief executive, Mike McGavick said: “Today marks an unrivalled opportunity to accelerate our strategy with a new strength and dimension.

It is slightly less than three years ago since McGavick’s Bermudian re/insurer XL Group completed its own acquisition of Catlin, a London market specialty re/insurer, creating a post merger XL Catlin subsidiary.

“With every confidence in how we have positioned XL Group for the future, it is a substantial testament to Axa’s leadership and commitment to maintaining the XL Group brand and culture that we have come to an alignment,” McGavick added.

Completion of the Axa-XL deal is expected to take place in the second half of 2018, pending shareholder and regulatory approvals.