The common shareholders of XL Group have approved the $15.3bn merger agreement with French multinational insurance firm AXA.
In March this year, AXA signed an agreement to acquire XL Group to creating the global property & casualty (P&C) commercial lines insurance platform.
Under the terms of the deal, XL Group shareholders will receive $57.6 per share. The transaction is expected to be completed in the second quarter of this year, subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of required regulatory approvals.
Upon completion of the transaction, the combined operations of XL Group, AXA Corporate Solutions (AXA’s large commercial P&C and specialty business) and AXA Art will be headed by Greg Hendrick, who is presently XL Group’s president and chief operating officer.
He will be appointed as the CEO of the combined entity and will also join AXA Group’s management committee, reporting to AXA Group CEO Thomas Buberl.
Mike McGavick will be appointed as the the combined P&C Commercial lines operations vice-chairman and special adviser to Buberl to advise on integration-related and other strategic matters.
XL Group CEO McGavick said: “We are pleased with our shareholders’ vote of confidence in supporting all matters, including the AXA transaction. In AXA we have found a like-minded partner committed to innovation and moving our industry forward.
“Becoming a part of AXA provides unrivalled opportunity to accelerate our strategy with new strength and dimension. Based on today’s vote, it is clear that our shareholders share this same vision and opportunity for XL Group.”
XL Group has a better presence in North America, Europe, Lloyd’s and Asia-Pacific. The boards of both the companies have unanimously approved the merger agreement.
When the acquisition was announced, Buberl said: “This transaction is a unique strategic opportunity for AXA to shift its business profile from predominantly L&S business to predominantly P&C business, and will enable the Group to become the #1 global P&C Commercial lines insurer based on gross written premiums.”
He also stated that the transaction offers significant long-term value creation for AXA’s stakeholders with increased risk diversification, high cash remittance potential reinforced growth prospects. The transaction is expected to bring significant balance to AXA towards its insurance risks, away from financial risks.