Simplyhealth sells its private medical insurance business to AXA PPP healthcare

Simplyhealth to invest in healthcare delivery as customers look outside the NHS for a range of non-critical services

Simplyhealth Group Limited (“Simplyhealth” or “the Group”) announces today that it has agreed the sale of its private medical insurance (PMI) business and Simplyhealth Administration Services Limited (SASL), which administers its self funded business, (“PMI business”) to AXA PPP healthcare, subject to approval by the appropriate authorities. 

The sale of the PMI business follows a strategic review of the Group’s activities led by Chief Executive Romana Abdin. The review has been informed by a detailed 18-month analysis of the marketplace for healthcare services, including a major customer insight project involving interviews with over 5,000 people and 250 companies. 

Romana Abdin, Chief Executive, Simplyhealth
This is a pivotal moment in our long history. We are going to focus on everyday healthcare, where we see numerous growth opportunities in services to address the everyday things that stop our customers from making the most of life. Problems like back pain, toothache, eyesight difficulty, mobility and independence. This is where demand is rising inexorably.  The sale of our PMI business will provide us with funds to accelerate this strategy.
Romana Abdin, Chief Executive, Simplyhealth

Following the sale of the PMI business, the Group will continue to provide health funding solutions through its market leading cash plan and Denplan offerings. Simplyhealth intends to grow its cash plan, dental and vet businesses, while at the same time investing in new areas of everyday health. In recent weeks the Group has acquired Care & Mobility Limited, a mobility retail specialist in the West Midlands, adding to its independent living business and expanding its retail footprint. It has also launched a new partnership model for private dentistry, another area where customer demand is increasing. 

Romana Abdin, Chief Executive, Simplyhealth
Our customers know they are going to live longer and they want to make the most of life for as long as possible. They tell us they want access to a range of everyday healthcare services, they know the NHS won’t provide them all in future and they are prepared to pay for them.  They want to be more informed and involved in their own healthcare and we will help them.
Romana Abdin, Chief Executive, Simplyhealth

Simplyhealth is currently the UK’s 5th biggest provider of private medical insurance, which it offers to customers through private policies and corporate membership plans. The Group is also a significant provider of policies to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and is a leading provider in the administration of ‘self funded’ corporate health schemes, which allow large companies to create their own bespoke health plans for employees.

In assessing the future of its PMI business, Simplyhealth has considered carefully the prospects of a business where scale is becoming increasingly important. The Simplyhealth PMI business is a relatively small player in the market and management has concluded that its sale to AXA PPP is in the best interests of all stakeholders. AXA PPP is one of the leading PMI businesses in the UK, with a reputation for high levels of customer service and a long-term commitment to the PMI market as part of the AXA Group.

With its well balanced, stable book of business, Simplyhealth’s PMI business will be an excellent addition to AXA PPP healthcare, and this agreement has presented a rare opportunity to acquire a complementary business in the UK.  Both companies share a commitment to offering outstanding customer service, supporting their local communities and being an employer of choice.

We look forward to working with Simplyhealth and its intermediary partners to ensure a smooth transition, providing excellent service and continuing cover for all individual and business customers.
Keith Gibbs, Chief Executive of AXA PPP healthcare

Under the terms of the agreement, nearly all of Simplyhealth’s 390 Bristol employees will transfer to AXA PPP under TUPE, in addition to a small number of employees based at other Simplyhealth locations in the UK. The PMI business will continue to operate from Simplyhealth’s Bristol premises, which AXA PPP is acquiring as part of the transaction. The financial terms of the transaction, which is subject to approval from the appropriate authorities, are not disclosed.




Tom Baldock, Lansons
07860 101715


Nicky Louth-Davies, Simplyhealth
07764 559536


Caroline Newton, Simplyhealth
01264 342570 / 07795 294447




Miranda Bellord, AXA UK press office
020 7920 5141 / 07964 501800


John Dubois, AXA PPP healthcare press office
01892 612837 / 07974 832653


Notes to Editors:



Simplyhealth has been helping people access affordable healthcare for 140 years, through a variety of health cash plans, dental plans, pet plans, private medical insurance products and mobility and living aids. Simplyhealth includes Denplan, the UK's largest provider of dental plans and pet plans. Today Simplyhealth covers over 3 million people.


The Group’s history dates back to 1872 and the establishment of the Manchester & Salford Hospital Saturday Fund, which was set up along with other voluntary hospitals to help communities which could not afford medical care. Simplyhealth’s heritage is fundamental to the way it does business, with profits either invested back into the company or distributed to charitable causes. Today the Group has turnover of over £400m and 1700 employees across five locations in Andover, Bristol, Leeds, Manchester and Winchester as well as 13 independent living retail locations.


The PMI business has been part of the Group since 2002, when Simplyhealth entered the PMI market through the acquisition of the Manor House Friendly Society. Located in Bristol, the PMI business has 390 employees and provides services for around 200,000 people, about 100,000 insured and 100,000 in self-funded schemes administered by Simplyhealth.


AXA Group


The AXA Group is a worldwide leader in insurance and asset management, with 157,000 employees serving 103 million clients in 59 countries. In 2014, IFRS revenues amounted to Euro 92.0 billion and IFRS underlying earnings to Euro 5.1 billion. AXA had Euro 1,277 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2014. In 2014 Interbrand ranked AXA the 1st insurance brand worldwide for the 6th consecutive year.


In the UK AXA operates through a number of business units including: AXA Wealth, AXA Commercial Lines and Personal Intermediary, AXA Personal Direct and Partnerships, AXA PPP healthcare, AXA Ireland and an independent distribution business Bluefin. AXA employs over 10,500 staff in the UK.


The AXA ordinary share is listed on compartment A of Euronext Paris under the ticker symbol CS (ISN FR 0000120628 – Bloomberg: CS FP – Reuters: AXAF.PA). AXA’s American Depository Share is also quoted on the OTC QX platform under the ticker symbol AXAHY.


The AXA Group is included in the main international SRI indexes, such as Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) and FTSE4GOOD.


It is a founding member of the UN Environment Programme’s Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Principles for Sustainable Insurance and a signatory of the UN Principles for Responsible Investment.