Britain's ageing population and changes to workplace pensions proved lucrative for Resolution during the first half of the year.

Friends shares fall after Flowers refuses to increase £3.5bn bid

JC Flowers has given Friends Provident until Friday to enter talks and made it clear that it will not raise its £3.5bn takeover proposal for the insurer. Friends Provident is sticking to its assertion that Flowers' proposal is not a basis for discussions.

Market Report: FKI surges on hopes of an imminent takeover

FKI is the focus of renewed bid speculation. The engineering company has been a feature of market chatter for many weeks now. At various times, different rumours have suggested that either the company was about to receive a counter offer to the revised proposal made by the engineering conglomerate Melrose, in March, or that the second bidder had dropped out, robbing investors of the pleasure of a bidding war.

JC Flowers ready to contact shareholders to press case for 150p-a-share Friends bid

JC Flowers is preparing to contact shareholders of Friends Provident to press the case for its £3.5bn takeover proposal for the insurer after unveiling details of its approach yesterday.

Former Standard Life director gets £1.9m pay-off

Standard Life has agreed to pay up to £1.9m to its former finance director, Alison Reed, after reaching a legal settlement over her ousting in 2006.

Friends rejects £3.5bn offer from JC Flowers

Friends Provident has rejected a £3.5bn takeover proposal from JC Flowers, the US buyout firm that has been stalking the British insurer since the end of last year. Friends said yesterday that JC Flowers' 150p-a-share indicative cash approach "significantly undervalues Friends Provident ... and its prospects and does not represent a basis for discussion".

Friends rejects new Flowers offer

Life assurer Friends Provident today said it had rejected a revised £3.5 billion offer from private equity firm JC Flowers.

Standard Life shares surge after unexpected profits rise

Standard Life shares surged yesterday after the life insurer posted annual profits ahead of expectations and sounded an upbeat note on its prospects this year.

Friends calls on JC Flowers to end uncertainty over bid

Friends Provident has called on JC Flowers, the US private investment firm which has expressed an interest in buying the company, to put up or shut up because the uncertainty is damaging its business.

The Week Ahead: Kazakh and Tate & Lyle head for FTSE 100

The FTSE Quarterly Review on Wednesday will determine which companies fall out of, and which ones climb into, London's benchmark index of 100 leading shares. Kazakh Eurasian Natural Resour-ces, which has been buoyed by the worldwide rush for commodities and by Kazakhmys, the FTSE 100-listed miner which took an 18.8 per cent stake in the company, is expected to win a promotion, while Yell, the directory group behind the Yellow Pages, looks set for ejection, buckling under the pressure of competition from online rivals such as Google and Yahoo.

Pearl-Resolution deal hits fresh snags

Doubts increased yesterday about the planned takeover of Resolution, the closed life fund operator, by its rival Pearl as the deal hit a fresh delay.

Investors flood out of commercial property funds as returns drop

The amount of money being withdrawn from commercial property funds inc-reased almost twelvefold during the last three months of 2007, as investors rushed for the exit in a panic-stricken response to sharp falls in asset prices.

Market Report: ITV essential viewing as takeover talk hots up

Rumours of a private-equity advance for ITV were broadcast around the market yesterday.

Investors give Friends Provident restructure plan a rough reception

Friends Provident finally unveiled its restructuring plan yesterday but the proposals immediately received a tough reception from investors who sent the life insurer's shares down to their lowest level for more than three years.

600 jobs to go in Friends Provident cost cuts

The life and pensions group Friends Provident said today that it is to axe around 600 jobs as part of a group-wide overhaul and cost-cutting drive.

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