JC Flowers Hints That Friends Provident Takeover Might Be On The Cards
by Stewart Douglas
Insurer Friends Provident was today amongst the hot picks for traders and market analysts following an announcement from high profile US private equity outfit JC Flowers that it would be looking to make an offer to acquire the firm, pending further investigations into its available options, driving the share price up and inspiring investors nationwide.
Friends Provident has been seen as a likely candidate for takeover by a number of firms since last year, when it failed to secure a proposed £8.7 billion merger with Resolution, which paved the way for a number of prospective takeover bidders to declare their interest on the FTSE-100 listed firm.
According to a statement released by JC Flowers today, it said that it was considering approaching the board of directors of Friends Provident to discuss the options available and to come up with a potential plan for acquisition, which has naturally been taken as a strong indicator that a takeover might be around the corner.
Sources close to the matter also added that JC Flowers had approached Friends Provident in 2007 to move to acquisition, but for the credit problems which rendered raising capital for the buy-out an unlikely and almost impossible prospect, following on from the trend away from private equity deals in the wake of the credit crunch and the global economic pressures within the banking industry.
Shares in the firm were up by some 3.6% on the day following the speculation of a potential takeover, providing some elusive positive action on the FTSE as compared to wider falls throughout following yet more doom and gloom from the American exchanges.
It is thought that any prospective bid could be tabled over the next few weeks with a view to securing the acquisition as soon as possible.