Institutions to talk tough on ScotAm ballot

Three UK fund managers with thousands of Scottish Amicable policies in their investment trusts are to meet next week to discuss voting down the company's plans for a two-stage de-mutualisation unless it calls its ballot of members.

The three firms, Scottish Value Management (SVM), BZW and Kleinwort Benson want ScotAm to discuss takeover offers from various bidders, including Abbey National which declared its hand last week, before putting proposals to a vote.

Brian Moretta, fund manager of SVM's Life Offices Opportunities Trust, said yesterday: "Abbey National has not got detailed enough figures to put a proper deal on the table. It needs more information before it can do so.

"If Scottish Amicable puts its proposals forward [before then] it is running a very serious danger of having them rejected. That would put its management in a very difficult position."

Simon White, director at Kleinwort Benson Investment Funds, said his company would look carefully at any ScotAm proposals. His comments came as the increasingly embattled ScotAm board restated its policy of going ahead with existing plans, involving an immediate pounds 75m bonus to policyholders if they vote for demutualisation. Up to pounds 400m might be available at flotation in three to five years.

Abbey National's deal involves about pounds 1.4bn, of which at least pounds 400m would go to shareholders in cash or shares, with the rest being paid for the value of the underlying life fund.

Meanwhile, the likelihood of other bidders entering the race increased as it emerged that at least one company, the Dutch insurer Fortis, has contacted ScotAm to offer talks. Fortis refused to comment. ING, the Dutch owner of Barings, also refused to comment on suggestions that it too has contacted the Scottish company.

Experts also pointed to Prudential and NatWest as preparing to mount an assault.

Abbey National yesterday prepared to step up its takeover battle for ScotAm by threatening to take the campaign to the insurer's 1.1 million policyholders if a ballot goes ahead.

Abbey National's tactics include a massive media publicity blitz, and mailing as many policyholders as possible through the client lists of independent financial advisers. Abbey is also prepared to demand ScotAm provide it with a full list of policyholders so it can mail them details of its offer.

A spokeswoman said: "We are hoping to be able to deal with the management there in a friendly way and we hope it won't be necessary to do this."

Lazard Brothers, Abbey's advisers, yesterday wrote to SBC Warburg, who are advising ScotAm, to table a bid for the company formally .

John Nelson, vice-chairman at Lazards, said in a letter to Jock Birney, his opposite number at SBC Warburg, that Abbey National's offer was "substantially more attractive" than his own proposals.

"Accordingly, we are strongly requesting you to defer sending your proposals to policyholders with the Scottish Amicable board's recommendation."

A ScotAm spokesman said Abbey was asking for privileged access to information before policyholders.

Sport
Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
sportGunners complete £35m signing of Barcelona forward
Voices
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
Sport
world cup 2014
Sport
Ray Whelan was arrested earlier this week
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
In a minor key: Keira Knightley in the lightweight 'Begin Again'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
books
News
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
News
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
newsJohn Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
Life and Style
It beggars belief: the homeless and hungry are weary, tortured, ghosts of people – with bodies contorted by imperceptible pain
lifeRough sleepers exist in every city. Hear the stories of those whose luck has run out
News
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
people
Life and Style
fashionJ Crew introduces triple zero size to meet the Asia market demand
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Sport
Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini of Arsenal launch the new Puma Arsenal kits at the Puma Store on Carnaby Street
sportMassive deal worth £150m over the next five years
Arts and Entertainment
Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins
musicHolyrood MPs 'staggered' at lack of Scottish artists performing
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Arts and Entertainment
Currently there is nothing to prevent all-male or all-female couples from competing against mixed sex partners at any of the country’s ballroom dancing events
Potential ban on same-sex partners in ballroom dancing competitions amounts to 'illegal discrimination'
News
business
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Business Analyst Consultant (Financial Services)

£60000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...

Systems Administrator - Linux / Unix / Windows / TCP/IP / SAN

£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider in investment managemen...

AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer

£600 - £700 per day: Harrington Starr: AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer JVS, ...

Technical Support Analyst (C++, Windows, Linux, Perl, Graduate)

£30000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A global leader in trading platforms and e...

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice