13 April 2015

Carey Olsen advises Aviva on £5.6 billion takeover of Friends Life

A cross-practice and pan-Channel Island team from Carey Olsen has advised Aviva plc on its acquisition of FTSE-100 listed Friends Life Group Limited for £5.6 billion in one of the largest ever takeovers in the insurance market and the largest scheme of arrangement to go through the Guernsey court.

Shareholders of Friends Life now own 26 per cent of the enlarged group, which will all be branded Aviva, serving 16 million customers. Aviva acquired all the ordinary share capital of Friends Life on the basis of an exchange ratio of 0.74 Aviva ordinary shares for each Friends Life ordinary share.

The Carey Olsen team was led by Guernsey corporate partner Tom Carey who was assisted by senior associates Adrian Sarchet, James Stockwell and Natasha Kapp who advised on the Guernsey corporate, competition and insurance law aspects of the transaction and David Allen who advised on the Jersey competition and insurance law aspects of the transaction.

Mr Carey said: "This is a very significant deal for Aviva and the insurance market generally and we expect the Royal Court's decision to become the leading judgment on the conduct of takeover schemes of arrangement in Guernsey. I am proud of what our team has achieved for Aviva, which further demonstrates that Carey Olsen is the go to firm for transactions of this nature."