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  • Sun Life Financial (SLF) has signed an agreement to sell its UK business to Phoenix Group Holdings plc. for approximately C$385 million
  • Phoenix Group is the UK’s largest long-term savings and retirement business with more than 13 million customers and £310 billion of assets under administration
  • Sun Life will become an asset management partner to Phoenix Group
  • The transaction is expected to close during the first half of 2023, pending regulatory approvals
  • Sun Life is a leading international financial services organization providing asset management, wealth, insurance and health solutions
  • Sun Life Financial Inc. (SLF) opened trading at C$46.06

Sun Life Financial (SLF) has signed an agreement to sell Sun Life Financial of Canada UK Limited to Phoenix Group Holdings plc.

Phoenix Group is the UK’s largest long-term savings and retirement business with more than 13 million customers and £310 billion of assets under administration.

Sun Life will sell Sun Life UK to Phoenix Group for a closing price of £248 million (approximately C$385 million) and will retain its economic interest in UK’s payout annuities business. This transaction will also provide further growth opportunities for Sun Life’s asset management businesses.

As part of the sale, Sun Life will become an asset management partner to Phoenix Group. Sun Life’s asset management companies, MFS and SLC Management, will continue to manage approximately C$9 billion of Sun Life UK’s general account upon the close of the sale.

Phoenix Group has set a goal to invest approximately US$25 billion in North American public and private fixed income and alternative investments over the next five years.

Kevin Strain, President and CEO of Sun Life, commented on the news.

“We’re excited to partner with Phoenix Group. A great deal of consideration was taken to find the right buyer and partner for our UK business. Phoenix Group is a purpose-led company with similar values to Sun Life and a strong focus on delivering outcomes for their customers. We’re also pleased about our asset management partnership, which will bring the strength of MFS and SLC Management to Phoenix Group customers. Thank you to our UK team for all of their efforts in delivering solid results year-after-year in our life, pension and annuities businesses. We believe Phoenix Group will be a great organization for our UK employees and clients.”

Strain added,

“The sale of the Sun Life UK business is consistent with our strategy to grow fee-based and capital light businesses. It also frees up capital to continue on our journey of creating long-term value for our shareholders. This transaction also aligns with our objective to continue building our Sun Life asset management pillar by creating an attractive long-term partnership with the UK’s leading long-term savings and retirement business.”

Andy Briggs, Phoenix Group, CEO added,

“This acquisition is highly attractive for Phoenix Group. As the UK’s largest long-term savings and retirement business with a strong track record of UK closed book integrations, we look forward to offering a safe home for Sun Life UK Clients over the long term and enabling them to benefit from our broad range of Standard Life products in our Open division. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome the colleagues who will join us from Sun Life UK. We are also pleased to enter into a new, long-term strategic asset management partnership with MFS and SLC Management, Sun Life’s Asset Management businesses. This partnership will complement our existing relationships and further enhance our liquid and illiquid credit capabilities in North America by building on their strong presence in the region.”

The transaction is expected to close during the first half of 2023, subject to receipt of regulatory approvals and satisfaction of customary closing conditions.

Sun Life is a leading international financial services organization providing asset management, wealth, insurance and health solutions to individual and institutional clients. The company has operations in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda.

Sun Life Financial Inc. (SLF) opened trading at C$46.06.


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