At June 2015, Rothesay Life had £14.1bn ($20.3bn, €18.2bn) of assets under management, and it currently insures 213,172 pension fund lives, according to its website.
An Aegon spokesperson said: “In September we confirmed we’d initiated a review of our UK annuity portfolio. This process continues and we will update the market in due course.”
The deal would appear to be in keeping with Rothesay Life’s strategy – in January 2011 it bought Paternoster’s £3bn bulk annuity portfolio and followed this up in May 2015 with the acquisition of MetLife Assurance’s £2.5bn book of bulk annuities.
Rothesay Life is backed by Goldman Sachs, alongside Blackstone, GIC and MassMutual, which took stakes in December 2013.
Annuity market turmoil
Since George Osborne announced pensions liberation in his 2014 Budget, the future of the annuity market in the UK has been under immense scrutiny.
Despite sales falling steadily since 2012, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) showed that in Q3 2015 – its most recent available quarterly figures – they saw a quarterly increase for the first time since Q3 2012.
But ABI data also shows £2.5bn in 166,700 cash lump sums was withdrawn in the first three months since the pension reforms took effect last April, while £2.2bn was paid out via 606,000 income drawdown payments.