Resolution hijacks Osmond's HHG deal

RESOLUTION LIFE, the closed life book consolidator chaired by Sir Brian Williamson, moved in to try to break up Hugh Osmond's acquisition of the Pearl, NPI, National Provident and London Life funds yesterday, threatening to make a bid for the entire share capital of HHG, the funds' parent company.

HHG agreed to sell its closed life funds, which have assets of pounds 26bn, to Mr Osmond, a leisure sector entrepreneur, for pounds 1bn in December. Resolution took part in the original auction for the funds but lost out.

However, it emerged yesterday that the group has since made a renewed offer for the life funds and has made it clear that it would be willing, if necessary, to bid for the entire share capital of HHG, which includes the fund manager Henderson and the financial adviser Towry Law.

Shares in HHG ended the day up 8 per cent at a new high 71p, giving the company a market value of almost pounds 2bn.

HHG confirmed yesterday only that it had received an informal approach from Resolution. A shareholders' extraordinary meeting to approve Mr Osmond's acquisition is scheduled for 21 February. If HHG makes a higher offer for the life funds, or a bid for the whole group, the board will be obliged to consider it.

A spokeswoman for Mr Osmond said that as far as Sun Capital - Mr Osmond's company - was concerned, it was "business as usual".

In a statement Resolution confirmed it was considering making an offer but said talks were at a preliminary stage.

Clive Cowdery, Resolution's chief executive, was one of the first into the closed life book market, snapping up Royal & SunAlliance's closed funds for pounds 850m last summer. He is believed to have been disappointed to have missed out on the HHG funds, which form one of the few large blocks of funds available.

Shares in Britannic, another closed life book consolidator, also shot up more than 3.5 per cent yesterday on speculation that Resolution might consider bidding for it.

If Resolution is successful in its bid for the entire HHG group, it is almost certain to sell the fund management business, Henderson, to a third party. Henderson, which has assets under management of about pounds 70bn, would fetch up about pounds 1bn.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
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

Training/Learning and Development Coordinator -London

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Training/Learning and Development Co...

Training Programme Manager (Learning and Development)-London

£28000 - £32000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manage...

.NET Software Developer (.NET, C#, ASP.NET, front-end)

£30000 - £45000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A Global Financial Service Organi...

C# Web developer (C#,MVC,ASP.NET,SQL)

£30000 - £40000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: C# Web d...

Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried