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AXA Acquisition In Japan

MEDIACOM-RELEASE-AXA-NEW-ZEALAND

AXA ACQUISITION IN JAPAN

Today the AXA Group announced it made a conditional offer for the purchase of a controlling interest in Nippon Dantai, Japan's 13th largest life insurance company.

AXA National Mutual Holdings, the Asia Pacific member of the AXA Group, has been closely involved in the negotiations with Nippon Dantai, which holds a 2 per cent share of the enormous Japanese life insurance market.

Japan is the largest life insurance market in the world accounting for about one third of the world's insurance premiums. The acquisition, when completed, will complement the AXA Group's existing Japanese life insurance business, AXA Life Japan.

Under current plans, Nippon Dantai Life and AXA Life, AXA's Japanese subsidiary, will establish a joint holding company called AXA Nichidan Insurance Holding Co., Ltd, in March, 2000, through the transfer of shares of both companies.

AXA plans to make a direct investment of as much as Yen 200 billion. A major proportion of this amount would go to Nichidan before March, 2000. As a result of the investment AXA will hold around 95 per cent of the issued shares of the holding company.

"The acquisition will more than double the AXA Group's existing life insurance premiums from the Asia Pacific region," said Andy Penn, Chief Executive - International, AXA National Mutual Holdings.

The transaction is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2000. AXA National Mutual Holdings, consistent with its role as the development arm for the Asia Pacific region for the AXA Group, will then consider if it wishes to participate in the business moving forward and what form this might take.

ENDS....

MEDIA RELEASE FROM AXA NEW ZEALAND

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