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Swiss Re offloads half of its Phoenix Group holding

By Josh White

Date: Wednesday 23 Jun 2021

Swiss Re offloads half of its Phoenix Group holding

(Sharecast News) - Phoenix Group said on Wednesday that Swiss Re has sold 66,199,917 shares in Phoenix, representing about 6.6% of its total issued share capital.
The FTSE 100 firm said the sale took place by an accelerated bookbuild, to a range of new and existing institutional investors.

In order to support an orderly sell down and improve trading liquidity in Phoenix, under the relationship deal between the two parties agreed in July 2020, the Phoenix board said it consented to Swiss Re proceeding with the transaction ahead the expiry of the 12-month lock-up period under the relationship agreement.

Following the settlement, Swiss Re's holding in Phoenix would be about 6.6% of its total issued share capital.

As a result of Swiss Re's holding falling below 10%, the relationship agreement would cease to be effective, and Swiss Re would no longer be entitled to appoint a non-executive director to the Phoenix board.

As a result, Swiss Re had given notice that its nominated representative, Christopher Minter, would resign from the Phoenix board from settlement of the shares sold, which was expected on 25 June.

Swiss Re also agreed to a separate lock-up of 90 days following the sale with its bookrunners, over its residual holding in Phoenix, subject to waiver by the bookrunners.

"On behalf of the board, I would like to thank both Christopher for the significant contribution he has made since joining the board in July 2020, and Swiss Re for its support during its time as a significant strategic shareholder," said chairman Nicholas Lyons.

MS&AD Insurance Group, whose lock-up period also expires in July, continued to retain a 14.5% shareholding in Phoenix, the board confirmed.

It said MS&AD was committed to its relationship with Phoenix, and expected to remain a significant shareholder.

At 0834 BST, shares in Phoenix Group Holdings were down 2.39% at 677p.

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