Debevoise & Plimpton, Ashurst, and King & Wood Mallesons have the lead roles on London-based Resolution Life Group Holdings’ $2.3 billion (A$3.3 billion) acquisition of Australian wealth management firm AMP Ltd.’s Australia and New Zealand life insurance division.
Resolution Life will pay AMP A$1.9 billion ($1.35 billion) in cash, A$300 million in shares and an A$1.1 billion-worth noncash consideration in the U.K. company. According to a media release, the noncash consideration will include “economic interest in future earnings from the mature business.”
The transaction is expected to be completed in the second half of 2019, subject to regulatory approvals in Australia and New Zealand.
Debevoise Hong Kong partner Edwin Northover is leading a team advising Resolution Life and is supported by corporate partner Alan Davies and finance partner Thomas Smith in London, and corporate partner Alexander Cochran in New York.
Ashurst is also advising Resolution Life, led by Melbourne partner Con Tzerefos. He is supported by Sydney partners Lisa Simmons on regulatory aspects, Jamie Ng on finance matters, and Rehana Box and Emanuel Poulos on insurance matters. Melbourne partner Andrew Harpur is giving disputes advice, Stuart D’Aloisio is providing advice on intellectual property matters, Emma Butler is advising on technology, media, and telecom aspects, Jane Harvey on employment matters, Jason Cornwall-Jones on the property aspects; and Brisbane partner Amanda Ludlow on technology, media, and telecom matters.
King & Wood Mallesons Sydney partner Jason Watts is leading a team advising AMP; he is supported by mergers and acquisitions partners Nathan Hodge, Henrik Moritz, Patrick Gunning, Daniel Natale and employment partner Andrew Gray, all also based in Sydney.
New Zealand firm Chapman Tripp’s Auckland partners Roger Wallis and Tim Tubman are advising AMP on New Zealand law.
AMP’s sale of its life insurance unit comes after a recent public inquiry in Australia into misconduct by dozens of the nation’s financial services providers. AMP, which had to set aside cash to compensate customers for bad advice and whose bottom line has suffered as a result of people withdrawing money amid the misconduct inquiry. was the worst hit by the inquiry, according to Reuters, whose chairwoman and chief executive stepped down as a result of the investigation.
The inquiry has created a high volume of work for law firms, including for King & Wood Mallesons, which is under investigation by Australian authorities for allegedly overworking lawyers and staff in its Melbourne office.