Conservative peer Lord Heseltine urges LV members to reject offer of just £100 each to sell 178-year-old insurer to American private equity firm
LV members have blasted an offer of just £100 each to sell the 178-year-old insurer to an American private equity firm.
The ‘paltry’ payment would let Bain Capital seize LV, formerly Liverpool Victoria, stripping it of its mutual status.
This would mean the firm would no longer be owned by its members but run by a profit-hungry investor.
Speaking out: Tory peer Lord Heseltine has urged LV members to reject the deal
Tory peer Lord Heseltine has urged LV members to reject the deal. He said: ‘It’s 30 pieces of silver, converted into £100 of today’s money. I would hope members reject it.’
Bain will pay £530m in total for LV. But only £212m of that will go to members.
That includes an uplift to policies for eligible members who have a with-profits policy. Solicitor Peter Bloxham, an LV member, said chairman Alan Cook and chief executive Mark Hartigan had been ‘weasely’ about what they will gain from the deal.
He said it was ‘clear’ that Hartigan will continue as chief executive if the deal goes ahead – which will mean a pay rise potentially worth millions.
‘When they announced the sale clearly they were proud of the £530m offer and made out it would go to members,’ he said. ‘Well where is it all going?’ The £100 proposal has been condemned as trying to buy members’ rights for ‘less than the cost of a good meal out’. Bosses were accused of ‘taking members for fools’ by Labour MP Gareth Thomas.
The Daily Mail has been inundated with emails from policyholders urging members not to be ‘bribed’ with their own money.
Clarissa Johnson, 74, said: ‘When I saw the £100 I laughed at my computer. It seems quite paltry.’ Gary Hewitt, 79, said it was ‘shocking’.
LV’s bosses claim the firm needs cash to invest in new technology. They said seeking money from a third party meant they wouldn’t have to invest members’ money, reducing the risk to customers.
Make your voice heard on LV
We are encouraging LV members, customers, or others, who would like to see it retain its mutual status, rather than be bought out by private equity, to write to it.
You could use the wording from the letter printed in the Daily Mail newspaper’s City pages (pictured here).
We have included the words for you to copy and paste into a letter below.
Send it to Alan Cook, Chairman of LV=, Liverpool Victoria, County Gates, Bournemouth, BH1 2NF
Dear Alan Cook,
I, the undersigned, urge you to reconsider your decision to sell LV= to Bain Capital and instead maintain its mutual status.