Norwich Union Shareholders approve CGU merger

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The Independent Online

Shareholders in CGU PLC and Norwich Union PLC approved a £7.5 billion merger today, endorsing a combination that would create Britain's biggest insurance group.

With 83 percent of shareholders' votes counted, more than 91 percent had voted in favour, according to Norwich Union, the junior partner in the merger.

CGU also announced that its shareholders endorsed the deal, which is still waiting for regulatory approval.

The new company, to be based in London and called CGNU PLC, would be the largest provider of general insurance and the second-largest provider of life insurance in Britain. It would be Europe's fifth-biggest insurer.

The companies said 5,000 jobs, or 7 percent of their total work force, would be cut as part of the combination.

CGU shareholders would control 58.5 percent of the new group, while Norwich Union shareholders would control 41.5 percent. CGU would appoint nine of the group's 17 directors.