This is the second big M&A deal for Freshfields and Prudential, after the firm advised Prudential on its £1.9bn bid for fund manager M&G two years ago. On that deal, co-head of the financial institutions group Philip Richards led the transaction, while this time corporate partner Graham Nicholson gets the call-up. Nicholson was asked in January to start work on the deal, which will create a post-deal combined value company worth $45.8bn (£31.6bn).
The deal is the largest ever combination of two insurance companies, and makes Prudential one of the world’s biggest insurance concerns. It is also a record transatlantic financial services buy.
Prudential, the UK’s second biggest insurer, already owns Jackson National Life, the US’s 20th largest life insurer. According to Nicholson, this should make regulatory clearance merely a formality, because in a regulated industry one of the biggest issues is suitability for ownership.