Countrywide Assured Group has announced that it is to concentrate purely on the estate agency and property investment side of its business with the de-merger or sale of its life assurance operation.
The group has said the life division is fundamentally different to its core business and there are no compelling reasons to keep the two sides of the business together. Additionally the capital adequacy and investment propositions are entirely different across the two divisions. The life business has been closed to new business for over a year.
Christopher Sporborg, chairman of Countrywide, commented: “The board of Countrywide believes that the de-merger or sale of the life business will help unlock the underlying value of the two companies for shareholders and create more understandable investment propositions. Since we entered into the distribution agreement with Friends Provident last year, there has been little logic in the life business being part of the same group.
A city analyst commented: “This is to do with running two separate businesses. The property business is highly cash generative and would be able to borrow after the split and become a lot more efficient in its monetary use.”