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Mutual insurer LV= urges members to vote for Bain takeover

·2-min read
Logo of Bain Capital is screened at a news conference in Tokyo, Japan

(This Nov 22 story corrects 3rd paragraph to say Liverpool Victoria, not London Victoria)

LONDON (Reuters) - The board of British mutual life insurer LV= on Monday said it "urged" all its members to vote in favour of a proposed 530 million pound ($712.37 million) takeover by private equity giant Bain Capital.

The deal has faced resistance from many of the 1.2 million members who currently own LV=, who argue they are not being sufficiently compensated for the loss of the insurer's mutual status. Rival mutual insurer Royal London offered this month to work with Bain on the deal, but LV= said it was sticking to its current plan which would give its members 100 pounds each if it goes ahead.

LV=, which was founded in 1843 and formerly known as Liverpool Victoria, set out on Monday a more detailed analysis of why it believed the Bain deal was best, saying to remain a standalone business would require significant investment from its members.

"We all came to the firm conclusion it would not be fair for us to ask our with-profit members to finance a future that requires significant investment, which many would not benefit from," said David Barral, Senior Independent Director of LV=.

"It was a decision we didn’t take lightly given our mutual heritage, but we know it is the right choice because it saves the future of LV=."

Royal London is planning to propose a merger with LV= which would keep LV= as a mutual insurer -- owned by its members -- if members vote against the Bain takeover, according to a report in the Mail on Sunday.

Royal London declined to comment on Monday.

LV= members are due to vote on the takeover on Dec. 10.

($1 = 0.7440 pounds)

(Reporting by Rachel Armstrong and Carolyn Cohn, editing by Huw Jones and Ed Osmond)

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