16 Nov 2010

AMP shares surge after fresh bid

2:09 pm on 16 November 2010

Shares in AMP have surged more than 5% after the insurer and fund manager launched a fresh bid for AXA Asia Pacific, valuing the company at more than $A13 billion.

AMP's new offer is worth $6.43 a share through a mixture of cash and shares.

Like the initial bid, AMP would acquire AXA Asia Pacific's Australian and New Zealand operations, while AXA Asia Pacific's parent firm, French insurer AXA would take its Asian operations.

AXA's independent directors are considering the deal and their unanimous approval is required before the proposal is put before shareholders.

If successful, AMP says it will be the leading player for risk insurance, retail superannuation and retirement income in Australia, and the largest corporate superannuation provider in New Zealand.

AMP has already received regulatory approval for the bid in Australia and New Zealand.

AMP's initial bid was rejected by AXA Asia Pacific's board before it was trumped by a higher bid from National Australia Bank.

But the NAB's bid fell foul of the Australia's competition regulator, which ruled it would substantially lessen competition in the wealth management industry.