Chesnara on the takeover trail

Chesnara, which competes with the zombie fund Phoenix to buy life insurers that no longer accept new customers, said it remained on the lookout for deals yesterday as new solvency rules for insurers would result in acquisition opportunities.

The regulations could trigger a round of consolidation as small insurers decide the new rules are too onerous and opt to sell themselves to bigger rivals. The group, which last year sealed the £63.5m takeover of Save & Prosper, said first-half profit fell to £3.8m from £12m a year ago. It still raised its interim dividend by 2.6 per cent to 5.95p.