Osmond pursues Resolution, Abbey Life

Hugh Osmond, the UK entrepreneur, would have to offer more than 700p per share for any approach to Resolution to be taken seriously by the rival closed UK life-fund company, reports the FT. Mr Osmond and his long-time adversary Clive Cowdery, Resolution chairman, are to meet this week after Mr Osmond amassed 16 per cent interest in Resolution, whose shares rose almost 3 per cent on Friday, to 649½p, in anticipation of an offer from Mr Osmond. It is thought Mr Osmond has not ruled out a cash bid for the company, or seeking a merger with his closest rival. An offer of 700p per share would value the group at £4.8bn and Mr Cowdery’s 3 per cent stake at £145m. Meanwhile, Mr Osmond’s Pearl group is still pursuing Abbey Life, the closed fund worth about £1bn being auctioned by Lloyds TSB, and alongside Deutsche Bank is in the final round of bidding, which could be announced as early as this week, according to the Sunday Telegraph [via Reuters]. Lloyds is due to report first-half earnings on Tuesday.

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