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« Int. Insurance links 22.7.09 | Main | Int. Insurance links 17.7.09 »

Int. Insurance links 20.7.09

Friends Provident lures Resolution onshore with merger offer

Insurer Friends Provident today set out terms for a merger with Clive Cowdery's buyout vehicle Resolution. The deal would scupper Resolution's plans to pay a select band of executives 10% of annual profits and base the new company in a tax haven.

Friends Provident said it was prepared to enter talks with Resolution, but only if the merged business retained its name, remained listed on the London Stock Exchange and retained the current board structure. Friends, which was founded by Quakers in 1832, would take over Resolution and become the holding company for a merged group.


Cowdery's Resolution sweetens offer for Friends Provident [RELATED TO STORY ABOVE]

Resolution has sweetened its offer for Friends Provident by including a cash element and making a commitment on the insurer's dividend.

The financial buyout firm, owned by entrepreneur Clive Cowdery, today offered a cash component for the first 2,500 Friends Provident shares and said it would issue Resolution shares in exchange for the remaining stock.

Resolution's previous all-share offer was rejected as too low by Friends, which also expressed concerns about the buyout firm's corporate structure.


Friends Provident Rejects Resolution’s Takeover Bid (Update2) [RELATED TO STORY ABOVE]

July 20 (Bloomberg) -- Friends Provident Plc, the 177-year- old insurer, rebuffed Clive Cowdery’s second takeover approach, saying his offer would benefit Resolution Ltd.’s managers at the expense of shareholders.

“The dilution of the Friends Provident shareholders’ economic interests” is unacceptable, the Dorking, England-based company said today in a statement. Partners at Cowdery’s buyout firm receive an average of 450,000 pounds ($744,000) salary and a share of profits once they sell assets.

Resolution, founded by insurance entrepreneur Cowdery, made its second takeover proposal today, saying it would pay Friends Provident shareholders cash for the first 2,500 shares they own. Friends Provident is 20 percent owned by about 750,000 retail investors, many of whom acquired holdings when the former mutually owned insurer first sold shares to the public in 2001.


China Insurers’ Profit May Have Doubled on Premiums, Stocks

July 20 (Bloomberg) -- Chinese insurance companies’ profit may have doubled in the first half as premium income increased and a rebound in the nation’s stock market boosted investments.

The industry may report a combined profit of 26.1 billion yuan ($3.8 billion) in the six months to June 30, the China Insurance Regulatory Commission said today. Separately, the regulator said insurance premium income rose 6.6 percent to 598.6 billion yuan in the first six months from a year earlier, driven by demand for automobile-related coverage.

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