UK: Lovells Advises Liverpool Victoria On Two Acquisitions
Friendly Society Nurses
Last Updated: 13 July 2001

Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society Limited ("Liverpool Victoria"), the UK's largest friendly society, announced on 9 July that it had reached an agreement to acquire the business of the Royal National Pension Fund for Nurses ("RNPFN"). The total value of the transaction is approximately £248 million.

Liverpool Victoria has subsequently announced today that it has entered into an agreement providing for the purchase of Bishopscourt Financial Holdings and some of its subsidiaries which trade as Membership Services Direct, a specialist provider of financial services and independent financial advice to the affinity sector.

Lovells is acting for Liverpool Victoria on both transactions.

The RNPFN deal is the third major transaction in the UK life assurance industry in which the Lovells corporate insurance team has played a leading role this year. Lovells also acted for Equitable Life in the £1 billion sale of its goodwill and infrastructure to the Halifax in February and is acting for National Mutual in its £570 million demutualisation and the transfer of its business to GE Capital announced on 22 June.

The Lovells team on the RNPFN transaction is led by John Young and Jane Sparkes, principally assisted by Joan Monyo, with specialist advice from Kevin Ashman (Tax), Katie Banks and Catherine Michel (Pensions), Naomi Feinstein and David Williams (Employment), Rachel Kent and Dominic Hill (Investment Management), Patricia McGlynn (Property) and Heather Rowe and Malcolm Smith (IP/IT). The team on the Bishopscourt transaction is led by Jane Sparkes, principally assisted by Melissa Sinclair and Adele Surtees, with specialist advice from Kevin Ashman and Robert Hartley (Tax), Naomi Feinstein and John Keith (Employment), Dominic Hill (Investment Management), Michelle McCullough and Mac Macmillan (IP/IT), Roderick Morton (Pensions) and John Moseley (Finance).

RNPFN is represented by a team led by Marian Pell and Robin Wittering of Herbert Smith. Bishopscourt is represented by a team led by James O'Shea of Clyde & Co.


John Young said today:

"I am delighted that we have been able to represent Liverpool Victoria on two further acquisitions. Liverpool Victoria are a vibrant mutual organisation whom we have been delighted to represent since their major expansion started with the acquisition of Frizzell in 1995. They have been an excellent client to work with in all respects."

Notes for Editors

Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society Limited

Liverpool Victoria was established in 1843 and is the largest friendly society in the UK. The group has over 1 million members and approximately £5.5 billion of funds under management.

The Liverpool Victoria group provides a broad range of financial services, including life assurance, general insurance, asset management, banking and independent financial planning advice. Liverpool Victoria employs around 2,800 staff, mostly based in Bournemouth, servicing in excess of 2 million customers across the United Kingdom.


As part of its broadly-based corporate practice, international law firm Lovells has a specialist corporate insurance team, led by John Young, that advises on the legal and practical issues involved in the formation, authorisation and regulation of insurance companies and transactions affecting the insurance industry both in the UK and internationally. The firm has one of the leading UK practices in this field.

Other major life assurance transactions in the last two years in which the Lovells corporate insurance team has played a leading role include:

  • Acting for AMP on its acquisition of NPI and the associated demutualisation of that company (1999).
  • Acting for AEGON UK plc in the acquisition of the United Kingdom life assurance activities of Guardian Royal Exchange plc (1999).
  • Acting for Britannic plc in the acquisition of Britannia Life, the life assurance subsidiary of the Britannia Building Society, and 75% of Britannia's investment management activities (1999).
  • Acting for Equitable Life in its attempted demutualisation (2000), and subsequently in the sale of Permanent Insurance Company Limited to Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society Limited (2000) and the sale of Equitable Life’s operating assets, salesforce and non-profit and unit linked business to Halifax Group plc (2001).

Acting for National Mutual on its proposed demutualisation and the consequent transfer of its business to GE Capital.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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