Doncaster people are told to check their email as they could gain hundreds of pounds

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An insurance company could be sharing a massive £1.85 million to the 9,500 Doncaster people who are policyholders with them.

LV= is an insurance and retirement provider.

They are asking their members to vote on whether to accept a deal that would see them share £212 million.

If members vote down the proposal, LV= bosses have warned that members may have to foot the bill for future investment needed for the business to survive, meaning higher premiums and charges.

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Doncaster policyholders are being urged to check their email.Doncaster policyholders are being urged to check their email.
Doncaster policyholders are being urged to check their email.

Analysts have said that many of the UK’s 1.2m policy holders at the mutual don’t even realise they are automatically members entitled to cast a vote.

Emails to all policyholders were sent out this week reminding them to take part in the vote and determine whether the takeover by equity giant Bain Capital should go ahead.

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There are more than 9,500 policyholders in Doncaster - meaning residents stand to share an estimated £1.85 million between them.

Every member will get a £100 boost, with 300,000 who hold “with profits” accounts entitled to initial payments of £600 and additional benefits worth up to £2,000 depending on their policy.

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Investment expert Jason Hollands said: “A lot of people don’t understand that LV= is a mutual, policyholders are co-owners and entitled to vote.

“They may not even know they have an email inviting them to vote, but they should search their inbox and junk mail to see if they have one.

“It is really important that they vote on this, otherwise their voice won’t be heard.

“The email could be worth a lot of money if they help vote this takeover through.

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“Most policyholders would be entitled to a hundred pounds, and people with profit bonds are potentially looking at £2,000.”

Bain Capital won the bidding for the 178 year old mutual LV= earlier this year but members must vote whether to accept the bid before they can bank on their windfall.

Directors insist it is the best deal available and are backing it because it gives members a payout, retains the society’s ethos, and secures the future of offices in Bournemouth, Exeter and Hitchin.

Bain has also promised £160 million to improve IT systems and launch new products to boost the number of policyholders to two million.

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But some critics complain they have not ruled out job losses and that the business would be better off remaining a mutual.

Directors have warned if the deal falls through, members themselves may have to fund significant investment to generate the capital needed to protect the future of the business.

It requires a supermajority of 75 per cent of voters to back the sell-off.

Jason Hollands, managing director of online investment service Bestinvest, said: “In some places private equity is often painted as a bogey man, but I think that’s unfair.

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“Of course there are cases where private equity does not work, but many businesses flourish.

“The business is badly in need of capital, which is why they put up the ‘For Sale’ sign.

“The Bain Capital bid was the most attractive one, according to the management.

“Members have to vote on what is in front of them, and the board has said this is the best offer.

“Other potential investors have had a year to come up with something more attractive, and that has not happened.

“The reality is that if another investor came forward in the future there would be no guarantee that members would get a payout.

“It is down to members not to vote on what is best for them.”

Members can vote on post or online before 2pm on December 8, or in a web session on December 10.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.