Giving you all the latest in Stock Market Information as it happens...

25816,25805,25766,25763,25760,25756,25753,25751,25747,25745,

Independent expert backs AMP AXA deal

On Monday 17 January 2011, 10:45

AMP Ltd's $14.6 billion takeover of AXA Asia Pacific Holdings (AXA APH) has been deemed fair and reasonable by AXA APH's independent expert.

AXA APH released its explanatory memorandum of the proposed deal on Monday, which includes an analysis by advisors Grant Samuels & Associates.

"The proposal delivers significantly more value than would be available to AXA APH minority shareholders in the short to medium term if AXA APH was to continue on a standalone basis," Grant Samuels said in its report.

"The value to be delivered to AXA APH minority shareholders under the proposal is compelling.

"In the absence of a superior proposal, the proposal is in the best interests of AXA APH minority shareholders."

Under a proposed scheme of arrangement, AXA APH minority shareholders will be offered 0.73 AMP shares and a variable cash amount based on AMP's daily volume weighted average share price (VWAP) during the ten days following the effective date of the scheme.

The cash and scrip offer values AXA APH at $6.43 per share, and Grant Samuels valued the company in the range $6.03-6.64 per share.

In a separate statement, AMP welcomed the independent expert's report.

AMP also said it still expects the takeover to achieve savings of $120 million per annum through combining the businesses, with one-off integration costs of $285 million.

AXA APH's independent directors have recommended the deal unanimously.

AXA APH minority shareholders are due to vote on the proposal on March 2, while a court hearing for approval will be held on March 7.

If approval is given, the effective date of the takeover would be March 8.