LONDON: Jardine Strategic Holdings Ltd, the Hong Kong-based holding company within the Jardine Matheson Group, is acquiring a 20 per cent stake in Rothschilds Continuation Holdings AG for $185 million from British insurance company Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Plc.
Rothschilds Continuation Holdings is the parent company of N M Rothschild & Sons Ltd and a major holding company within commercial and private banking concern Rothschild Group. Based in Zug, Switzerland, it is closely-held. Jardine Strategic will be the only non-Rothschild shareholder in the company.
The Rothschild group has offices in more than 30 countries and is involved in treasury, investment banking, fund management, private banking and trust management services. The group said it will book a $110 million gain from the sale.
Royal & Sun Alliance has also sold its remaining 1.5 per cent holding in Rothschilds Continuation Holdings to an employee share trust of the group. The divestment enables Royal & Sun Alliance to focus on its core insurance business. It has already raised funds in the past two years through a rights issue and debt as well as through disposals.
Jardine Strategic said it is investing in Rothschild for “the long-term” and plans to help the group grow in Asia through its “knowledge and network of relationships” in the region. The transaction has to await regulatory approval.
“Jardine Strategic’s investment in RCH is in line with its policy of taking significant stakes in multinational businesses, and supporting their development,” the company said in a statement filed with the Singapore Stock Exchange, where it is listed.
Jardine Matheson group is an investment company controlled by Scotland’s Keswick family. It had its origins in the 1830s, when founders William Jardine and James Matheson invested their substantial returns from opium trade in China. The company’s legacy is linked to the historic annexation and subsequent control of Hong Kong by Britain.