Resolution considers £5 billion Standard Life bid
by Gill Montia
Resolution, the closed life fund manger, is today considering a £5 billion conditional offer for the company, from Standard Life.
If accepted, the cash and shares bid will bring an end to existing proposals for a merger between Resolution and Friends Provident.
The Standard Life offer was made yesterday, only hours before the deadline set by the Takeover Panel, and follows a £4.8 billion bid from Pearl Assurance that was rejected last week.
Pearl, which is Resolution’s largest shareholder, may yet submit an enhanced bid as it is well known that the group is strongly opposed to a merger with Friends Provident.
However, Resolution has made it clear that only a “compelling” bid would force it to review its merger plans, and some analysts believe that the value of the Standard Life bid is below “compelling”.
If successful, Standard Life would most probably sell some of Resolution’s assets to Swiss Reinsurance, a rival closed life funds consolidator.