Athene Holding, a leading retirement services company, today announced that it, along with its strategic partner, Apollo Global Management, have agreed to acquire a 15% minority interest in Challenger Limited from an existing shareholder, 3% of which is subject to customary Australian Prudential Regulation Authority approval.
When combined with other Challenger shares acquired by Athene and Apollo, the acquisition of the 15% equity interest will result in a total expected minority economic interest of 18% for approximately $540 million.
Athene and Apollo see attractive long-term opportunities in partnering with and supporting Challenger's continued growth as minority shareholders, the companies said in a news release.
Athene and Challenger share the same mission – to provide customers with financial security for retirement. Challenger is the preeminent platform in Australia for both annuities and investment management, with A$21bn of life investment assets and A$104bn of total assets under management as of March 31, 2021. Athene and Apollo believe that Challenger is well-positioned to continue serving Australia's sizable and growing retirement market.
"Investing in Challenger represents an exciting opportunity for us to support a well-established platform within the Australian market, a geography we have been studying given the current economic conditions and compelling demographic fundamentals," said Athene CEO Jim Belardi. "In many ways, Challenger is the perfect partner for us – the company is led by an experienced management team, has a strong market position, attractive growth prospects, and shares our deep commitment to retirees. Together, we believe we can help Challenger continue to build long-term value, similar to what we've been able to achieve in building Athene's business in the U.S. and supporting the growth of our sister company Athora in Europe, where we are also minority shareholders."
This investment follows Athene's pending agreement to merge with Apollo, combining the two companies to create a leading global solutions provider focused on delivering superior investment returns and retirement income. Entering the Australian market through this investment in Challenger is a natural extension of that vision, and follows other new business initiatives Athene has undertaken in the United Kingdom and Japan over the last two years.
Athene and Apollo are represented by Sidley Austin LLP as legal counsel.
Athene, through its subsidiaries, is a leading retirement services company with total assets of US$205.7 billion as of March 31, 2021 and operations in the United States, Bermuda, and Canada. Athene specializes in helping its customers achieve financial security and is a solutions provider to institutions. Founded in 2009, Athene is Driven to Do More for our policyholders, business partners, shareholders, and the communities in which we work and live. For more information, please visit www.athene.com.
Apollo is a high-growth, global alternative asset manager. We seek to provide our clients excess return at every point along the risk-reward spectrum from investment grade to private equity with a focus on three business strategies: yield, hybrid and opportunistic. Through our investment activity across our fully integrated platform, we serve the retirement income and financial return needs of our clients, and we offer innovative capital solutions to businesses. Our patient, creative, knowledgeable approach to investing aligns our clients, businesses we invest in, our employees and the communities we impact, to expand opportunity and achieve positive outcomes. As of March 31, 2021, Apollo had approximately US$461 billion of assets under management. To learn more, please visit www.apollo.com.
Challenger Limited (Challenger) is an investment management firm focusing on providing customers with financial security for retirement. Challenger operates two core investment businesses, a fiduciary Funds Management division and an APRA-regulated Life division. Challenger Life Company Limited (CLC) is Australia's largest provider of annuities.