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WEALTH MANAGEMENT | Cesar Tordesillas, Australia
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$13.1B bid launched for AXA Asia Pacific

AMP and AXA SA launched a $13.1 billion-plus bid for AXA Asia Pacific. It closes one of Asia's largest takeovers that has dragged on for a year.

A deal would put AMP on top of Australia's $1.2 trillion wealth management market, allowing it to compete with the four banks that dominate the market.

It would also allow French parent AXA SA to exit Australia and allow it to focus on its stated goal of growing in Asia.
In a complex deal, AMP will pay US$4.098 billion for AXA Asia Pacific's Australia and New Zealand business, while AXA SA will pay US$10.27 billion for the Asian assets, including taking over the US$1.28 billion in debt.

"This should eventually close the deal. The AXA Asia board has no other bidders and the deal meets the price they want. The only issue is it is heavily scrip based," said Tom Elliott, Managing Director at Melbourne-based hedge fund MM&E Capital.

The current bid from AMP/AXA SA, which is US$532 million higher than their previous offer in December, will be on par with the National Australia Bank bid rejected by Australia's competition regulator in September.

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