23 Jan 2001

Prudential plc enters Japanese life insurance market: Acquisition of Orico Life Insurance Co. Ltd for £133 million

Prudential plc (Prudential) today announced that it had signed an agreement to acquire Orico Life Insurance Co. Ltd ("Orico Life") for £133 million (¥23 billion/US$200 million) from Orient Corporation ("Orient"), one of Japan's major consumer credit providers. The deal is expected to complete by the end of February 2001, subject to regulatory and legal approvals.

Orico Life, established in 1990, is based in Tokyo and has operations in a further 10 locations in Japan. It has over 240,000 in force policies, with total assets at 31 March 2000 of £650 million. It offers a wide range of products including term, savings and protection. Distribution is multi-channel and includes professional agents, financial institutions and accountants. Orico Life's distribution arrangements with Orient will remain in place and it will continue to work closely with Orient in the areas of distribution and provision of wealth management products.

With the acquisition of Orico Life, Prudential now has life operations in 11 countries across Asia (including China and India) combined with a rapidly expanding mutual fund presence in the region. Prudential was first established in Asia in 1923 and is currently the UK's largest life insurance company in the region.

Commenting on the acquisition, Prudential's group chief executive Jonathan Bloomer said: "Japan is the world's largest life insurance market and we have been reviewing potential opportunities there for some time. We are delighted to have found, in Orico Life, a modern and innovative life business which provides us with a solid platform to build a presence in this very significant market."

This acquisition continues Prudential's planned and focused expansion strategy in Asia. Mark Tucker, Chief Executive of Prudential Corporation Asia added: "This acquisition of a progressive Japanese life player, which is a financially sound company with excellent growth potential, is a great fit with our strategy here in Asia. It will enable us to leverage our regional distribution initiatives and product strengths straight away and accelerate the next exciting stage of Orico Life's development."

Notes to Editors:

Orient Corporation

Orient is one of the largest consumer credit companies in Japan, providing credit cards, guarantee and loan agent services together with direct cash loans through a network of 214 domestic branches. It is Japan's largest provider of automobile loans, has over 9 million credit card customers and operates through 500,000 retail outlets. Orient also has strong ties with its main bank, the Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank.

Prudential has been advised by UBS Warburg (Japan), a subsidiary of UBS AG. Orient has been advised by the Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank and PricewaterhouseCoopers Financial Advisory Services Co., Ltd.

Media Enquiries Analyst Enquiries
Geraldine Davies Rebecca Burrows
Director of Corporate Relations Director of Investor Relations
020 7548 3911 020 7548 3537

There will be a conference call for:

Analysts today at 11.30 GMT on 020 8240 8242 (a recording of this call will be available for the next 7 days on 020 8288 4459, quoting reference number 620962)

Media today at 12.15 GMT on 020 8288 4530

Both calls will be hosted by Mark Tucker, Chief Executive of Prudential Corporation Asia, from Tokyo and Philip Broadley, Finance Director of Prudential plc, from London.

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