Legal & General Agrees to Buy Out Cofunds for 131 Million Pounds

Legal & General Group Plc (LGEN), the largest manager of U.K. pension assets, agreed to buy out the 75 percent of Cofunds Holdings Ltd. it doesn’t already own for 131 million pounds ($199 million) in cash to bolster its electronic platforms.

The transaction values Cofunds, which provides technology allowing sales advisers and financial firms to get information about products electronically, at 175 million pounds, London- based Legal & General said in a statement today. Cofunds is the U.K.’s largest investment platform for financial services and has over 50 billion pounds of assets under administration.

“Digital solutions is one of our five drivers of growth,” said Mark Gregory, chief executive officer of savings at Legal & General. “The projected growth in the investment platform market is substantial and we expect Cofunds to be a major beneficiary of this growth.”

Legal & General said earlier this month it would seek acquisitions this year in its existing areas of expertise. It entered a joint-venture on March 18 to acquire Scottish housing developer Cala Group Ltd. from Lloyds Banking Group Plc (LLOY) for 210 million pounds. The insurer on March 6 also raised its dividend 20 percent after sales, cash flow and operating profit increased on demand for retirement products.

The Cofunds purchase is subject to regulatory approval and is likely to be completed in the first half of 2013, Legal & General said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ambereen Choudhury in London at achoudhury@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at eevans3@bloomberg.net

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