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Blackstone, GIC grab 57% of Rothesay Life from Goldman Sachs

22 Oct 2013

insurance contract formThe Blackstone Group and Singapore sovereign investor GIC have both bought 28.5 per cent stakes in UK insurer Rothesay Life from Goldman Sachs.

Goldman will remain the biggest shareholder in the business with a 36 per cent stake, while Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance has also bought a seven per cent holding.

Blackstone and GIC were linked with moves for 30 per cent stakes in Rothesay last month, in a deal which would value the company at about £900m.

The private equity giant was first reported to be in talks to pick up a minority stake using its $3bn tactical opportunities fund in August.

Blackstone Tactical Opportunities Europe head Chad Pike said, “We have been following developments in the UK pension insurance market for some time and anticipate significant growth potential as interest rates continue to rise.

“With its leading franchise and experienced team, we believe Rothesay Life is well-placed to continue its success in providing this important solution to pension schemes.”

Goldman was looking to exit Rothesay following the implementation of Basel III rules in Europe, which require insurers to hold more capital to counteract riskier assets in the wake of the financial crisis.

Rothesay was set up by Goldman in 2007 as a wholly-owned subsidiary.

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