What Prudential's United Kingdom demerger plan means for its shareholders

Prudential to spin off UK and European business

Prudential to spin off UK and European business

Looking forward, we believe we will be better able to focus on meeting our customers' rapidly evolving needs and to deliver long-term value to investors as two separate businesses.

The business will be led by its current chief executive John Foley, who will continue to carry out his transformation plan to make it more "capital-efficient and customer-focused".

The group will give more control to M&G Prudential over its business strategy and capital allocation, enabling it to play a greater role in developing the savings and retirement markets in the United Kingdom and Europe, said Wells.

"I am delighted that Prudential, one of the UK's most respected insurance companies, has chosen Rothesay Life to secure its policyholders' pensions over the long term in a landmark transaction for us and for the industry", Addy Loudiadis, chief executive at Rothesay, said in the firm's deal announcement. Prudential will also keep its primary listing in Hong Kong, as well as listings in Singapore and NY.

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After the merger, shareholders will hold interests in both Prudential and M&G Prudential.

Shares of Prudential plc (PRU.L) were gaining around 5 percent in London trading after the UK-based financial services group reported Wednesday higher profit in its fiscal 2017 with increased premiums and strong growth in Asia.

As part of the deal, the life insurer giant will also be offloading its United Kingdom annuity business to Rothesay Life for £12bn, using the proceeds to help fund the demerger.

The capital benefit of this transaction will be retained within the group to support the demerger process, said Prudential. It is also subject to regulatory and shareholder approval.

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The move was made after "a rigorous review" by the board, which concluded it is in the best interest of the group to operate as two separately listed firms and allow each other to focus on their individual strategies, said Paul Manduca, Prudential's chairman. The jump was particularly driven by a 20 per cent rise in operating profits at its Asian division, to just under £2bn.

Asia new business profit was up 12 per cent, mainly as a result of prioritisation of health and protection products and positive pricing actions.

For fiscal 2017, Prudential's profit before tax grew to 3.97 billion pounds from last year's 3.21 billion pounds.

M&G Prudential saw "record" flows of £17.3bn, taking its total funds under management to £350.7bn at the end of the period, up 13%.

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The company improved its capital strength with Solvency II surplus rising by 6% to £13.3bn and the ratio increasing by 1 percentage point to 202%.

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