Phoenix Group’s £3.24 billion acquisition of insurance business of Standard Life Aberdeen plc

Slaughter and May acted for SLA on the sale of its capital-intensive insurance business to Phoenix. The total consideration upon completion will be £3.24 billion, including £2.28 billion in cash and a 19.99% shareholding in Phoenix.

The sale involves the disposal of Standard Life Assurance Limited, with SLA retaining its UK retail platforms and financial advice business. The businesses transferring to Phoenix as part of the sale include the UK Mature Retail and Spread/risk books and the Europe, UK Retail and Workplace businesses.

The sale is conditional upon the approval of SLA’s shareholders at a General Meeting, and certain other conditions.

This transaction will complete SLA’s transformation to a capital light investment business, a process started in 2010 with the sale of Standard Life Bank, continuing with the sale of its Canadian business and the merger last year between Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management.

Slaughter and May, led by corporate partner, Jonathan Marks (picture), worked closely alongside SLA’s internal legal team, which was led by Rushad Abadan, Group General Counsel and supported by Sara De Busk, Head of General Counsel’s Office; Benjamin Brust, Senior Legal Counsel; and Gayle Bacchus, Legal Counsel.

Slaughter and May acted with a Corporate and Commercial team led by Jonathan Marks (partner), Craig Cleaver (partner) and Paul Mudie (partner), assisted by Nick Pacheco (associate), Heather Fleming (associate), Panashi Devchand (associate), Richard Hilton (associate), Jack Gray (associate), Francesca Parker (associate), Usman Sawar (associate) and Zahra Haji (trainee). On Financial Regulation aspects acted Nick Bonsall (partner) and Kristina Locmele (associate); on Competition law provided assistance Anna Lyle-Smythe (partner), Murray Reeve (associate) and Sophia Haq (associate); on IP&IT matters advised David Ives (partner) and Michaela Peck (associate); on Pensions and Employment matters provided assistance Sandeep Maudgil (partner), Daniel Schaffer (partner) and Simon Clark (associate); on Tax law acted Gareth Miles (partner) and Ed Milliner (senior counsel); on Financing aspect provided assistance Stephen Powell (partner) and Charlie McGarel-Groves (associate); on Dispute Resolution matters advised Deborah Finkler (partner), Ewan Brown (partner), alongside Marcus Field (associate); and on Real Estate law acted Jane Edwarde (partner) and Gemma Goddard (associate).

CMS conducted due diligence on behalf of SLA.


Involved fees earner: Jonathan Marks – Slaughter and May; Craig Cleaver – Slaughter and May; Paul Mudie – Slaughter and May; Nick Pacheco – Slaughter and May; Heather Fleming – Slaughter and May; Panashi Devchand – Slaughter and May; Richard Hilton – Slaughter and May; Jack Gray – Slaughter and May; Francesca Parker – Slaughter and May; Usman Sawar – Slaughter and May; Zahra Haji – Slaughter and May; Nick Bonsall – Slaughter and May; Kristina Locmele – Slaughter and May; Stephen Powell – Slaughter and May; Charlie McGarel-Groves – Slaughter and May; Anna Lyle-Smythe – Slaughter and May; Murray Reeve – Slaughter and May; Sophia Haq – Slaughter and May; David Ives – Slaughter and May; Michaela Peck – Slaughter and May; Sandeep Maudgil – Slaughter and May; Daniel Schaffer – Slaughter and May; Simon Clark – Slaughter and May; Gareth Miles – Slaughter and May; Ed Milliner – Slaughter and May; Deborah Finkler – Slaughter and May; Ewan Brown – Slaughter and May; Marcus Field – Slaughter and May; Jane Edwarde – Slaughter and May; Gemma Goddard – Slaughter and May;

Law Firms: Slaughter and May;

Clients: Standard Life Aberdeen plc;