Axa has announced it has agreed terms with both the board and two of the main institutional shareholders of Thinc Destini to acquire the financial advisory business.
The deal, which would represent Axa's first foray into the advice market, is still subject to ordinary shareholder approval and will see Axa acquire Thinc Destini under the banner of a newly created company called Advisory Services Limited.
The agreement will lead to Thinc Destini shareholders sharing up to £70m, based primarily on the financial performance of the business during 2009.
A multi-channel advisory business with a national multi-tie, IFA and network model, Thinc Destini employs more than 650 advisers and has about £3bn of funds in its care.
Axa will also agree to fund the repayment of Thinc Destini's existing indebtedness, which has arisen due to the group's large-scale expansion on the back of businesses it has purchased in the past three years.
Axa also intends to offer further working capital to the Thinc Destini Group to the aggregate amount of £30m.
"Our intention is for Axa UK to run Thinc Destini as an independent advisory firm, separate from Axa UK's product provider businesses," said Paul Evans, chief executive of Axa Sun Life. "This acquisition will help strengthen our overall UK market proposition."
Elsewhere, Deutsche Bank has signed a definitive agreement to buy UK wealth manager Tilney Group as part of a strategic move to strengthen its presence in the UK private wealth management market.
The bank sees the acquisition as a central part of its bid to boost its onshore presence in its core markets and plough new furrows in various client segments such as independent financial advice. The deal is expected to go through by year-end.
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