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February 10, 2022

Mutual insurer LV= calls off merger talks with Royal London

British mutual insurance company Victoria Financial Services (LV=) has ditched merger discussions with rival Royal London, citing different mutual models.

In a bourse filing, LV= stated that a union would not be in its members’ best interests.

LV= and Royal London began merger talks at the start of this year and confirmed it just last week.

LV= interim chair Seamus Creedon said: “The strength of LV=’s business performance over the past 18 months combined with its operational progress has strengthened the board’s belief in, and commitment to, the continuation of our status as an independent mutual.

“We have heard what our members have said about the importance of mutuality and the continuation of the LV= brand. We continue to maintain our strong capital position, are trading well and building a successful future for LV=, its members, employees and wider communities.”

This is the second time in about two months that a deal to take over LV= has failed to materialise.

In December 2021, LV= was forced to abandon the deal with US private equity firm Bain Capital after its members voted against it.

The transaction would have demutualised LV=, offering each member £100 as compensation, which they called inadequate.

Royal London group CEO Barry O’Dwyer said: “Mutuals are owned by their customers and are run for their benefit. “Our offer to preserve LV=’s mutuality through a merger with Royal London was based on an understanding that LV= did not have a viable future as an independent company.”

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