American Express Buying Threadneedle

June 16, 2003 ( - A definitive agreement has been reached between Zurich Financial Services Group and American Express Company for the sale of 100% of the ordinary share capital of Threadneedle Asset Management Holdings Ltd.

Under the terms of the agreement, Threadneedle will continue to retain ties to Zurich through the continued management of certain Zurich assets for an initial term of up to eight years and the continued distribution of Threadneedle investment products through both the Zurich Advice Network and the Zurich Independent Financial Advisors Group.   Further, Threadneedle will maintain a distinctive investment process and brand name, according to a news release.

Headquartered in London, Threadneedle was created in 1994 through the merger of the investment management functions of Allied Dunbar and Eagle Star. It became a part of the Zurich Group in 1998, following Zurich’s merger with theB.A.T Industries’ financial services business.   As of March 31, 2003, Threadneedle had over £44 billion ($75 billion) in assets under management.

Thetransaction value of approximately £340 million ($570 million)will be paid in cash on completion.The deal is expected to close in the last quarter of the year, subject to approval by regulatory and competition authorities.