Prudential PLC (LON:PRU) said it is looking to raise between US$2.5bn-US$3bn from shareholders as it confirmed it will demerge its US arm Jackson in the second quarter of 2021.

Steven A Kandarian, the former chief executive of US insurer MetLife, has been appointed as Jackson’s non-executive chairman from the start of February to help oversee the demerger.

Jackson will list on the New York Stock Exchange once the deal is concluded, the Pru added, but will not be paying a separation dividend to the FTSE 100 insurer before the demerger.

Prudential added that shorn of Jackson it will focus on growing in Asia and Africa and it wants the extra cash to increase its investor base in Asia and lower debt.

In a statement, Mike Wells, the Pru’s chief executive said: “Our priorities as a group remain, first, to ensure our investors fully benefit from the opportunities of Asia and, second, to pursue, at pace, a fully independent Jackson.

“The demerger we are announcing today will significantly accelerate Prudential’s transformation into a business purely focused on profitable growth in Asia and Africa. Any future equity raising by Prudential will allow us to capture even more fully the rapid growth in the health, protection and savings needs of people in our chosen markets.”

Wells added that the Pru’s operating performance in 2020 is expected to be in line with market expectations.

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