AEGON (AMS:AGN) Aegon to divest stake in partnership with Sony Life in Japan

Transparency directive : regulatory news

17/05/2019 08:00

Aegon announces an agreement to sell its 50% stake in the variable annuity joint ventures in Japan for total cash proceeds of approximately EUR 130 million (JPY 16 billion) to its partner Sony Life.

Regulatory News:

“With the evolving market conditions, we mutually agreed that the future of the variable annuity business in Japan is best served as a wholly-owned part of our longstanding partner Sony Life”, said Alex Wynaendts, CEO of Aegon. “I am confident that this change is in the best interest of all stakeholders. This divestment allows Aegon to fully focus on its most promising businesses in Asia serving the fastest growing customer segments and offering the most significant opportunities.”

The divestment is consistent with the company’s strategy to focus on driving profitable sales growth and sustainably growing capital generation. The divestment will not have a material impact on Aegon’s capital position and is expected to lead to an IFRS gain of approximately EUR 50 million, to be reported in “Other income” at time of closing. Upon completion of the transaction, the cash proceeds will be upstreamed to the group.

The details of the divestment are currently being finalized and will be subject to normal regulatory approvals for transactions of this nature. This is likely to be completed by the end of 2019. To facilitate the transition, Aegon will continue to support the operations with certain hedging, consulting and administrative activities during a transition period. An update will be provided once the full transaction agreements are signed.

Aegon will remain focused and committed to the fast-growing customer segments in Asia. Core products in the region include universal life insurance and protection products. Universal life insurance products are primarily offered through the High Net Worth segment via Transamerica Life Bermuda, which continues to expand geographically. Protection products are sold via direct-to-consumer channels and digital distribution platforms in the joint ventures, such as in China, where Aegon is committed to a protection led strategy focused on critical illness and whole life products enabling the joint venture to grow sales in the last five years. Aegon also invests in digital distribution platforms in other Asian markets to expand distribution capabilities. Furthermore, the successful Chinese asset manager joint venture, Aegon Industrial Fund Management Company, is a cornerstone of the growth strategy of Aegon Asset Management.

About Aegon

Aegon’s roots go back 175 years – to the first half of the nineteenth century. Since then, Aegon has grown into an international company, with businesses in more than 20 countries in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Today, Aegon is one of the world’s leading financial services organizations, providing life insurance, pensions and asset management. Aegon’s purpose is to help people achieve a lifetime of financial security. More information on aegon.com.

Disclaimers

Forward-looking statements

The statements contained in this document that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements as defined in the US Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The following are words that identify such forward-looking statements: aim, believe, estimate, target, intend, may, expect, anticipate, predict, project, counting on, plan, continue, want, forecast, goal, should, would, could, is confident, will, and similar expressions as they relate to Aegon. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict. Aegon undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which merely reflect company expectations at the time of writing. Actual results may differ materially from expectations conveyed in forward-looking statements due to changes caused by various risks and uncertainties. Such risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to the following:

  • Changes in general economic and/or governmental conditions, particularly in the United States, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom;
  • Changes in the performance of financial markets, including emerging markets, such as with regard to:

- The frequency and severity of defaults by issuers in Aegon’s fixed income investment portfolios;

- The effects of corporate bankruptcies and/or accounting restatements on the financial markets and the resulting decline in the value of equity and debt securities Aegon holds; and

- The effects of declining creditworthiness of certain public sector securities and the resulting decline in the value of government exposure that Aegon holds;

  • Changes in the performance of Aegon’s investment portfolio and decline in ratings of Aegon’s counterparties;
  • Consequences of an actual or potential break-up of the European monetary union in whole or in part;
  • Consequences of the anticipated exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union and potential consequences of other European Union countries leaving the European Union;
  • The frequency and severity of insured loss events;
  • Changes affecting longevity, mortality, morbidity, persistence and other factors that may impact the profitability of Aegon’s insurance products;
  • Reinsurers to whom Aegon has ceded significant underwriting risks may fail to meet their obligations;
  • Changes affecting interest rate levels and continuing low or rapidly changing interest rate levels;
  • Changes affecting currency exchange rates, in particular the EUR/USD and EUR/GBP exchange rates;
  • Changes in the availability of, and costs associated with, liquidity sources such as bank and capital markets funding, as well as conditions in the credit markets in general such as changes in borrower and counterparty creditworthiness;
  • Increasing levels of competition in the United States, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and emerging markets;
  • Changes in laws and regulations, particularly those affecting Aegon’s operations’ ability to hire and retain key personnel, taxation of Aegon companies, the products Aegon sells, and the attractiveness of certain products to its consumers;
  • Regulatory changes relating to the pensions, investment, and insurance industries in the jurisdictions in which Aegon operates;
  • Standard setting initiatives of supranational standard setting bodies such as the Financial Stability Board and the International Association of Insurance Supervisors or changes to such standards that may have an impact on regional (such as EU), national or US federal or state level financial regulation or the application thereof to Aegon, including the designation of Aegon by the Financial Stability Board as a Global Systemically Important Insurer (G-SII);
  • Changes in customer behavior and public opinion in general related to, among other things, the type of products Aegon sells, including legal, regulatory or commercial necessity to meet changing customer expectations;
  • Acts of God, acts of terrorism, acts of war and pandemics;
  • Changes in the policies of central banks and/or governments;
  • Lowering of one or more of Aegon’s debt ratings issued by recognized rating organizations and the adverse impact such action may have on Aegon’s ability to raise capital and on its liquidity and financial condition;
  • Lowering of one or more of insurer financial strength ratings of Aegon’s insurance subsidiaries and the adverse impact such action may have on the premium writings, policy retention, profitability and liquidity of its insurance subsidiaries;
  • The effect of the European Union’s Solvency II requirements and other regulations in other jurisdictions affecting the capital Aegon is required to maintain;
  • Litigation or regulatory action that could require Aegon to pay significant damages or change the way Aegon does business;
  • As Aegon’s operations support complex transactions and are highly dependent on the proper functioning of information technology, operational risks such as system disruptions or failures, security or data privacy breaches, cyberattacks, human error, failure to safeguard personally identifiable information, changes in operational practices or inadequate controls including with respect to third parties with which we do business may disrupt Aegon’s business, damage its reputation and adversely affect its results of operations, financial condition and cash flows;
  • Customer responsiveness to both new products and distribution channels;
  • Competitive, legal, regulatory, or tax changes that affect profitability, the distribution cost of or demand for Aegon’s products;
  • Changes in accounting regulations and policies or a change by Aegon in applying such regulations and policies, voluntarily or otherwise, which may affect Aegon’s reported results, shareholders’ equity or regulatory capital adequacy levels;
  • Aegon’s projected results are highly sensitive to complex mathematical models of financial markets, mortality, longevity, and other dynamic systems subject to shocks and unpredictable volatility. Should assumptions to these models later prove incorrect, or should errors in those models escape the controls in place to detect them, future performance will vary from projected results;
  • The impact of acquisitions and divestitures, restructurings, product withdrawals and other unusual items, including Aegon’s ability to integrate acquisitions and to obtain the anticipated results and synergies from acquisitions;
  • Catastrophic events, either manmade or by nature, could result in material losses and significantly interrupt Aegon’s business; and
  • Aegon’s failure to achieve anticipated levels of earnings or operational efficiencies as well as other cost saving and excess cash and leverage ratio management initiatives.

Further details of potential risks and uncertainties affecting Aegon are described in its filings with the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets and the US Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Annual Report. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this document. Except as required by any applicable law or regulation, Aegon expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in Aegon’s expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

Media relations
Dick Schiethart
+31(0) 70 344 8821
dick.schiethart@aegon.com

Investor relations
Jan Willem Weidema
+31(0) 70 344 8028
janwillem.weidema@aegon.com



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