Prudential up on rumours of M&G sell-off
Friday 23 August 1996
Analysts pointed out that a speedier sell-off would allow the Pru to concentrate on a sudden takeover bid for Woolwich Building Society, itself preparing for a pounds 3bn stock market flotation next year. Buoyed by the market talk, the insurer's shares closed up 17p at 442p.
When Peter Davis, the Pru's group chief executive, announced the partial flotation of the reinsurance subsidiary, he dampened down takeover fever by suggesting that his company wanted to get the Mercantile deal out of the way first. Mr Davis suggested the likely float date, markets permitting, would be in late autumn.
One analyst, who would not be named said yesterday: "You mark my words. The company is clearing its decks for the Woolwich bid. I expect an announcement within three months. But I'd rather not have my name printed in case I'm wrong, thank you."
The amount raised would go towards financing the bid for Woolwich Building Society, although it was not strictly necessary since the Pru would have no problem raising the funds needed to do so.
A Prudential spokesman refused to comment on rumours of an early Mercantile & General sell-off.
The sale of Mercantile & General, worth about pounds 1.2bn in total, follows a strategy review of the entire Prudential group, which has led the company to decide to concentrate on retail financial services and associated fund management activity.
M&G is one of the world's major reinsurers, operating in more than 100 countries. In 1995, the company wrote gross premiums of pounds 1.3bn and contributed pounds 196m, almost 25 per cent, to the group's pre-tax profits of more than pounds 800m.
In June, Mr Davis said that while the Pru's primary aim was to seek a listing for about half the company, if a suitable offer for the entire business were to be made, it would be considered carefully.
The Pru is preparing to launch its own telephone-based mortgages and retail savings operation. It hopes to build significantly on the more than pounds 700m in mortgage business it currently places each year with a panel of other lenders.
But it has made no secret that it is in the market for a suitable building society or even a mutual life insurer in pursuit of its UK retail strategy.
- 1 Keira Knightley topless: Conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
- 2 Argentina may change its capital city from Buenos Aires, says president
- 3 Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
- 4 The 3D-printed key that can unlock anything
- 5 Lady al-Qa’ida: On the trail of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, the world’s most wanted prisoner
Keira Knightley topless: Conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
YouTube video posted by Isis militants shows 'execution of 250 Syrian soldiers'
Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
Sir Paul McCartney makes his stance on Scottish independence known
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
Highly Attractive Salary: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - This is a very unusual law c...
£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Network Engineer (CCNP, CCNA, Linux, OSPF,...
£50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: DevOps Engineer (Systems Administration, L...
£60000 - £70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A prestigious leading professiona...