Phoenix sells Ark Life Assurance for £197m

Tom Ellis reports

Phoenix has agreed to sell Ark Life Assurance Group for £197m to Irish Life Group.

Ark Life was acquired as part of Phoenix’s acquisition of ReAssure in 2020 and represented £1.8bn assets under administration within the firm’s heritage division. Ark Life is a closed book business made up of heritage savings and protection products in Ireland. 

Phoenix said it expected the deal to go through in early 2022 subject to regulatory and anti-trust approvals. It said the deal would “simplify” its European operations. 

Phoenix still owns Standard Life International DAC as part of its European business, which it said provided “optionality” to the group and that it was trying to progress “a range of management actions to maximise shareholder value”.

The £1.8bn AUA Ark Life business was acquired as part of the £84bn AUA deal for ReAssure that completed in 2020. Phoenix paid around £3.3bn for the acquisition. 

Earlier this year, Phoenix and Abrdn furthered their strategic partnership, worth £3.3bn, and saw the former purchase the Standard Life brand.