Handelsbanken sells life insurance arm

Norway's biggest insurance group Storebrand said Monday it had agreed with Swedish bank Handelsbanken to buy its life insurance and pension unit SPP for €1.9 billion ($2.6 billion) in cash.

“The combination of Storebrand and SPP will create the leading life insurance and pensions provider in the Nordic region,” Storebrand said.

To finance the deal, Storebrand said it would issue new shares worth 9.0-10.7 billion Norwegian kroner ($ 1.5-1.8 billion) and make use of a temporary banking loan of 4.6 billion kroner.

The final purchase price would be reduced to €1.7 billion if the Swedish regulators approved a special dividend of €200 million paid by SPP to Handelsbanken prior to the closing of the transaction, Storebrand said.


Swedish banking giant sacks its top boss

Sweden's Handelsbanken has fired its chief executive, Frank Vang-Jensen.

Swedish banking giant sacks its top boss
Frank Vang-Jensen. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

He will be replaced by Anders Bouvin, who will take up the position with immediate effect, the bank said in a statement. 

The board of the bank decided unanimously to let Vang-Jensen go after just a year and a half in the post. 

“This decision is purely related to the individual. Handelsbanken remains strong and our long-term goals stand firm,” said board chairman Pär Boman. 

He added that the post required a “special type of leadership”.

“Thus, it is possible to be an excellent leader and manager – as Frank Vang-Jensen has been – but not fulfil the requirements of CEO of Handelsbanken.” 

His successor, Anders Bouvin, has been Executive Vice President since 2002. He was posted in New York and Denmark before most recently heading up the bank’s operation in the UK.  

“Anders Bouvin has worked at Handelsbanken for more than 30 years and is totally familiar with the Bank’s working methods, culture and values. For the past ten years, he has worked at Handelsbanken in the UK, where he has built up a national branch network with stable finances, good profitability – and by far the most satisfied customers in the market,” said Boman.