GIC, Blackstone and MassMutual to buy out Goldman Sach's stake in Rothesay Life

Upon the successful completion of the transaction, GIC and Blackstone will hold equal largest stakes in Rothesay while MassMutual will increase its stake substantially in the pension provider.
Upon the successful completion of the transaction, GIC and Blackstone will hold equal largest stakes in Rothesay while MassMutual will increase its stake substantially in the pension provider.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Funds managed or advised by Blackstone and Singapore sovereign fund GIC, and Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) have agreed to acquire Goldman Sachs' entire shareholding in British-based pensions provider Rothesay Life for an undisclosed sum.

Upon the successful completion of the transaction, GIC and Blackstone will hold equal largest stakes in Rothesay while MassMutual will increase its stake substantially in the pension provider.

While Goldman Sachs will no longer hold any interest in Rothesay, it will continue to have a close relationship with the company that it founded.

"Blackstone, GIC and MassMutual are all pleased to provide support for further growth and development of the business," the four companies said a joint statement on Aug 9.

Since the initial investment by the shareholders in December 2013, Rothesay has grown its asset under management strongly from £7.5 billion to £23.7 billion last year through a combination of corporate defined benefit pension transfers, back-book reinsurance and corporate acquisitions.

Rothesay is recognised as one of the leading providers of annuity risk transfer solutions in Britain and is well positioned to benefit from core structural drivers that generate considerable opportunities for growth.

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter and is subject to regulatory and anti-trust approvals.

"We are delighted to increase our investment in Rothesay Life. It is an outstanding business and we look forward to supporting its further growth," Blackstone Tactical Opportunities senior managing director Qasim Abbas said.

"Rothesay Life is a good example of GIC's investment objectives as a long-term investor," said GIC chief investment officer of private equity Choo Yong Cheen.

"Rothesay Life offers an important service, has a differentiated strategy and strong growth prospects with the increasing demand for annuity risk transfer solutions. We are delighted to have the opportunity to increase our shareholding and continue to support the management team alongside Blackstone and MassMutual."

Established in 2007, Rothesay Life has become one of the leading providers of regulated insurance solutions in the United Kingdom market for pensions de-risking, making payments to policyholders of £1.3 billion a year.

This strong growth has been achieved through the steady accumulation of pension scheme clients, significant strategic acquisitions and the reinsurance of annuity portfolios.

Existing Rothesay Life clients include the pension schemes and members associated with companies like RSA, British Airways, General Motors and Philips.