Dutch bank ABN Amro said on Friday that its French private bank Neuflize OBC had entered into exclusive negotiations with BNP Paribas Cardif to form a strategic partnership in the French life insurance business.

The partnership will result in a distribution agreement and the sale of the Neuflize Vie life insurance business to BNP Paribas Cardif, the insurance subsidiary of BNP Paribas, according to the statement.

Neuflize Vie is 60% owned by ABN Amro and 40% by AXA.

BNP Paribas Cardif intends to acquire 100% of Neuflize Vie for an undisclosed sum, thus creating a champion of high-end life insurance in France with assets under management of over 25 billion euros. (Written by Dominique Vidalon, Kate Entringer)