Page last updated at 09:40 GMT, Thursday, 17 December 2009

NAB bids $12bn for Australian insurer Axa Asia Pacific

NAB bank branch
National Australia Bank has made an almost identical bid for Axa Asia Pacific

National Australia Bank (NAB) has offered to buy Australian insurer Axa Asia Pacific for $12bn (£7.4bn).

Axa Asia Pacific last month rejected a takeover bid from its French parent firm, Axa, and local rival AMP.

The offer from NAB, Australia's largest lender, puts pressure on AMP to increase its own offer.

Under both takeovers, the acquirer would hold on to Axa Asia Pacific's Australian and New Zealand assets, and sell the rest back to Axa.

NAB has offered Axa Asia Pacific shareholders either 6.43 Australian dollars in cash per share, or A$1.59 cash and 0.1745 of each NAB share.

It values the Australia and New Zealand operations at A$4.6bn, whereas AMP reckons it is worth roughly A$3.9bn.

NAB plans to raise A$1.5bn from shareholders to fund the deal.

AMP's offer, which Axa Asia Pacific said the offer significantly undervalued the company, is worth about $11.6bn at current prices.

Axa, which is Europe's second-largest insurer, bought a 51% stake in Axa Asia Pacific in 1995.

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