News

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

Market Report: Whitbread takes top spot on Premier merger talk

Rumours that Premier Inn may yet merge with rival Travelodge helped take Whitbread to first place on the FTSE 100 leader board yesterday.

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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links