Scottish Friendly set for expansion

<p>Scottish Friendly is closing in on a deal for Marine & General.</p>

Financial services group Scottish Friendly is readying itself for expansion.

The company is set to double the size of its operations as it stated that it was closing in on a deal to acquire Marine & General Mutual (M&GM). If completed then the agreement will represent the largest in Scottish Friendly's history and will increase its assets to around £2 billion.

Officials expect the agreement to be completed in the second quarter of the year although it still needs to gain approval from members, regulators and the High Court. Scottish Friendly see the acquisition as a major coup for its operations and has already stated its pleasure at being able to secure the oldest active registered company in the UK.

M&GM – a financial institution

M&GM first started trading as a mutual society in 1892 and has gone through a number of changes throughout this time. In 2008, the company was rebranded as MGM Advantage with a focus on the retirement income market. It went under another change five years later, when the Society completed a transaction which closed it to new business.

This resulted in the selling of infrastructure to a new company which was made possible through private equity. This then formed the new M&GM brand. Scottish Friendly's takeover will represent the latest incarnation of this company.

David Gulland, chief executive, M&GM said: “As we explained to our policyholders and members in our Strategic Report for 2013, we have been seeking to secure the long-term future of our customers through a transfer to another organisation.

"This involved a thorough process considering a number of potential operations and we were delighted to select Scottish Friendly."

Fiona McBain, chief executive of Scottish Friendly, also welcomed the deal and noted that the company was excited about the opportunities afforded by doubling its size.

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