Unrest as Pru puts out prospectus for $21bn AIA cash call

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The Independent Online

Prudential will this week publish its long-awaited prospectus for the $21bn cash call needed to fund the purchase of AIG's Asian operation, AIA, for $35bn.

The 1,000-page document will be issued on Wednesday amid growing unrest from leading shareholders about the deal.

Capital World Investors, which owns around 12 per cent of Prudential, and other leading stockholders, including Blackrock, are believed to be considering voting against the AIA deal, which will require support from 75 per cent of the Pru's shareholders.

Shares in Prudential climbed more than 40p last week to close at 579.5p as the possibility of an alternate break-up deal involving the likes of Resolution, Aviva and China's Ping An were mooted. "There has been concern about this deal from the start," said one London-based fund manager with a holding of more than 1 per cent. "We have considerable reservations, but I think that this deal will probably get over the line."

Pru's chief executive, Tidjane Thiam, is scheduled to meet some of the firm's biggest shareholders after the publication of the prospectus. "He's going to have to do a lot better than he did when he met institutions after the deal was first announced," said another investor. "He's going to need every vote."