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AXA APH minority shareholders approve AMP merger

AXA Asia Pacific Holdings (APH) minority shareholders have voted in favour of the proposal to merge its Australian and New Zealand businesses with AMP and to sell the Asian businesses to AXA SA.

Thursday, March 3rd 2011, 11:00AM

by Jenha White

This comes after an independent expert report on AMP's $13.3 billion bid for AXA APH in January which had concluded that the proposal was fair and reasonable and in the best interests of minority shareholders.

AMP chief executive Craig Dunn says the vote is a significant milestone for the proposed merger.

"Today's vote brings the competitive benefits of this merger one step closer for consumers and businesses in Australia and New Zealand," he says.

"A merged AMP AXA will bring together two of Australia's longest standing businesses delivering a new force in financial services by creating a company with the size and resources to be a strong competitor to the big four banks in wealth management."

The merger is yet to be given final court sign -off, but earlier in the week Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan also approved the proposed merger on the condition that the company's set up a termination package for employees displaced by the merger. This has also been approved by minority shareholders.

Under the Scheme of Arrangement to give effect to the proposal, AXA APH shareholders will receive the equivalent of A$6.43 per share, consisting of cash and AMP shares. AXA APH shareholders will also receive AXA APH's 2010 final dividend of 9.25 cents per share.

The second court hearing to approve the scheme will take place on Monday 7 March. If approved, the Scheme will become effective on 8 March and the normal trading of new AMP shares issued to AXA APH shareholders under the Scheme would then commence under the ASX code "AMP" on 31 March.


Jenha is a TPL staff reporter. jenha@tarawera.co.nz

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