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£250M sale could be on cards for Guardian

Aegon is preparing to sell off its 190-year-old life insurance arm Guardian, according to reports.

The reports suggest Guardian, which has around 500,000 customers, could be sold off in a deal worth £250m.

Private equity firms Cinven and Apollo are rumoured to be considering bids for the business, with Goldman Sachs handling the sale.

An Aegon spokeswoman says: “We do not comment on market rumours and speculation.”

Aegon bought Guardian in 1999. It was fined £750,000 in 2006 for flaws in its mortgage endowment complaint-handling procedures.

At the time, the FSA said Guardian’s procedures were “neither appropriate nor effective” and exposed 5,600 customers to financial loss.

Aegon is continuing its drive to reduce costs by 25 per cent by the end of the year under plans to refocus its business on the retirement and workplace savings markets.

In May, Aegon slashed 213 jobs across its marketing, IT and personal assistant support departments. The firm has announced a total of 557 job cuts so far.

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