By: Staff Reporter
NAB’s $13.3 billion bid for Axa Asia Pacific has officially been blocked by the competition regulator amid concerns that the combined companies would dominate the wealth management market.
The move allows AMP to reopen its talks with Axa and create a 'fifth pillar' in the financial services sector.
“A merger of AMP and AXA AP’s Australian and NZ operations would see the creation of a fifth pillar in the critically important financial services sector,” AMP’s chief executive officer Craig Dunn said.
“We have always believed that a combined AMP-AXA AP group would provide an even stronger, non-bank competitor in financial services that Australian consumers deserve.”
However, NAB still has six weeks to reach a compromise deal with the Australian Competition Consumer Commission (ACCC), such as selling off its Aviva wrap platform, before its exclusive arrangement with Axa SA terminates.
When announcing the ACCC’s decision, chairman Graeme Samuel said the competition regulator had formed the view that if “Axa were to be acquired, it would effectively take wrap competition out of the market”.
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