Historic insurer LV one of the few firms to escape clutches of private equity this year, following our vigorous campaign
Historic insurer LV was one of the few firms to escape the clutches of private equity earlier this year, following a vigorous Daily Mail campaign.
The 178-year-old life insurer looked set to fall into the hands of US buyout barons Bain Capital for £530m.
But LV’s bosses who had pushed for the deal, encouraged by the lure of more generous pay, underestimated the company’s members. Around 90 per cent of LV’s 1.2m customer-owners refused to vote the deal through, by abstaining or rejecting Bain’s advances.
Making a stand: Around 90 per cent of LV’s 1.2m customer-owners refused to vote the deal through, by abstaining or rejecting Bain Capital’s advances
The collapse of the deal was a victory for member democracy and for this paper. LV was one of the country’s largest mutuals, meaning it is owned by its customers and run for their benefit.
This had always been important to the business. Modern-day members were worried what might happen to LV and its values if it was snapped up by a profit-hungry investor.
Bain declined to reveal how many jobs might be lost and members felt that the promise of just £100 was a poor substitution for giving up their ownership of LV and its years of mutuality.
So LV lives to fight on as a mutual. It is back in talks with other buyers, including Royal London, which wants to keep the firm as a mutual.