The move will result in two separately listed companies that will each offer their own distinct investment products - according to a release, M&G Prudential will be an independent savings and investment provider based in London and led by chief executive John Foley, while Prudential Plc will continue as an worldwide insurance group headquartered in London but focusing on growth opportunities across the US, Asia and Africa, under group chief executive Mike Wells.
"The move represents a welcome expansion of the United Kingdom listed asset management sector which in recent years has lost Henderson, which delisted on the London Stock Exchange following its merger with New York Stock Exchange-listed Janus, and F&C following its acquisition by Canada's BMO, a subsidiary of the Bank of Montreal".
Rating actions include a downgrade of The Prudential Assurance Company Ltd's (PAC) and Prudential's USA subsidiaries" (collectively Jackson) Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) Ratings to "AA-' from "AA".
Prudential is to demerge its United Kingdom operations and list them as M&G Prudential.
After the merger, shareholders will hold interests in both Prudential and M&G Prudential.
The ratings agency noted that the demerger plan removes the company's global diversification benefits.
"Captive asset managers embedded within life offices are rarely fully-reflected in the parent's valuation and the move should give M&G increased strategic flexibility in charting its own destiny over the long run", said Hollands.
Both companies will be headquartered and listed on the London Stock Exchange.
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It said it planned to demerge M&G Prudential into a separate company with a premium listing on the London Stock Exchange (Other OTC: LDNXF - news). Revenue from the sale will support the demerging process.
Meanwhile, Prudential, under the stewardship of group chief executive Mike Wells, will focus its efforts on the Asian, US and African markets.
"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", said Wells. We believe this shows the United Kingdom market has matured, remains very competitive and can cope with this kind of change.
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".
Meanwhile, Prudential also announced the sale of a £12 billion (US$16.7 billion) of United Kingdom annuity portfolio to Rothesay Life, in line with its strategy to transition towards a more capital light business model. Prudential PLC is now served by its asset management arm Eastspring.
Prior to the demerger, the group's debt capital position will be re-balanced across Prudential and M&G Prudential, which may include the redemption or debt liability management of issued debt, and new debt issuance. "However, it's a shame the sale proceeds aren't coming back to shareholders, especially given that it's freeing up significant regulatory capital".
The annuity sale is the largest of its kind in the United Kingdom and covers 400,000 policyholders.
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