Eureko ponders cash bid for GRE

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The Independent Online
THE BOARD of Eureko, the consortium of nine European insurers, meets today to consider a cash bid for Guardian Royal Exchange to trump the agreed pounds 3.28bn cash-and-paper offer from AXA, the French insurance giant.

Eureko executives are examining a full cash alternative to top AXA's offer of 249p cash plus 0.243 shares in Sun Life & Provincial, its majority- owned UK subsidiary. Because of a sharp slide this week in Sun Life's share price, AXA's offer has fallen from 389p to 375p a share. It is understood Eureko may offer substantial equity stakes to GRE's management in an effort to persuade them to stay on. Shares in GRE closed down 2p at 359p.