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Eureko considering bid for Eq Life

European Insurance group Eureko has confirmed it is considering a bid for mutual life assurer Equitable Life.

Eureko has a complicated structure. One part of the group consists of eight insurance companies from across Europe including Friends Provident.

But the Dutch and Portuguese members also jointly own a marketing group which also goes under the Eureko name. It is this operation which plans to list and will then go on the acquisition trail.

But analysts say it is unlikely for a Europe-based bidder to be successful because it would not have the UK-based assets to cover Equitable&#39s liabilities estimated to be around £3bn.

Eureko chief executive Joao Talone says he is interested in Equitable&#39s “knowledge and know-how” of the British market and could import British cost-cutting measures into the European group&#39s businesses.

Friends Provident head of group communications says: “Eureko is pursuing its pan-European objectives of which we are supportive. Our top objective is to de-mutualise which such a move does not affect at all.”

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