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Swiss Life sells most of its private equity portfolio to Pantheon Ventures


Swiss Life is selling the majority of its private equity portfolio to Pantheon Ventures, a leading manager of private equity investments and a member of the Russell Investment Group. The transaction involves private equity investments valued at around CHF 400 million and in addition will reduce Swiss Life's outstanding commitments in private equity by over CHF 300 million. The sale marks a further step in the implementation of Swiss Life's strategy.

As announced, the Swiss Life Group will significantly reduce its investments in private equity in line with its new strategic orientation. As Martin Senn, Chief Investment Officer, explained: "Private equity investments are by their nature very illiquid, tying up a high amount of risk capital. For that reason, paired with an attractive offer, we decided to further reduce our share in private equity investments within the framework of our asset and liability management concept.”

Swiss Life will sell both its interests in over 40 funds and a number of direct investments valued at around CHF 400 million to Pantheon Ventures, which will also assume responsibility for some CHF 300 million of outstanding commitments to these investments. The parties have agreed to a price above the fair value of the portfolio as reported in Swiss Life's first-half financial report 2004. The transfer of the individual funds and investments will commence during the fourth quarter of 2004. The final financial impact of the sale will be established in the first quarter of 2005.

Following this sale, as of 31 August 2004 the fair value of Swiss Life's private equity portfolio amounts to CHF 114 million and outstanding commitments of CHF 59 million. The portfolio now mainly consists of fund of funds investments. The proceeds of the sale will be invested in various asset classes in line with Swiss Life's concept of asset and liability management.

Swiss Life

The Swiss Life Group is one of Europe's leading providers of life insurance and long-term savings and protection. The Swiss Life Group offers individuals and companies comprehensive advice across a broad range of products via agents, brokers and banks in its domestic market, Switzerland, where it is market leader, and selected European markets. Multinational companies are serviced with tailor-made solutions by a network of partners in over forty countries.

Swiss Life Holding, registered in Zurich, was founded in 1857 as the Swiss Life Insurance and Pension Company. Shares of Swiss Life Holding are listed on the SWX Swiss Exchange (SLHN). The enterprise employs around 10 000 people worldwide.

Cautionary statement regarding forward-looking information

This publication contains specific forward-looking statements, e.g. statements including terms like “believe”, “assume”, “expect” or similar expressions. Such forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may result in a substantial divergence between the actual results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and those explicitly or implicitly presumed in these statements. Against the background of these uncertainties readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. The company assumes no responsibility to update forward-looking statements or to adapt them to future events or developments.