AMP-Axa SA sweeten bid for Axa Asia Pacific Holdings to end stalemate

In a move to end a month-long stalemate, AMP Ltd, Australia's second-largest asset manager and French insurer Axa SA upped their bid for Axa Asia Pacific Holdings Ltd to A$12.9 billion. The wealth manager has a week to accept the sweetened offer.

In a statement, the Melbourne-based Axa Asia Pacific said its board would consider the proposal. The sweetened offer from AMP and France's biggest insurer raised the cash portion of the bid to A$6.22 a share, 53 per cent higher on the closing price before the original proposal a month ago.

According to analysts the revised offer is a very fair bid.

Axa SA, which owns 54 per cent of Axa Asia Pacific, plans to sell its stake to AMP. It will then buy back the units in eight Asian nations for A$9.1 billion.

According to AMP, the deal, Asia's biggest takeover offer this year, will double its financial advisers in Australia and New Zealand and increase its assets under management by 37 per cent to A$142 billion.

The offer from AMP and Axa SA, which the firms say is their best and final proposal, would lapse unless an agreement is reached before 21 December. The cash part of the bid has been raised by 54 cents to A41.92 a share even as the stock part remained unchanged.