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Friends could be close to agreeing Pantheon sale

Friends Provident is thought to be nearing an announcement on the sale of Pantheon to a private equity buyer.

According to press speculation Friends may announce a sale next week, with a price tag for the division tipped to be £30m.

Friends is also offloading its wealth management arm Lombard and the three bidders thought to be in the running are Swiss Life, CVC and Hellman & Friedman.

Lombard is expected to fetch around £700m.

A deal for the disposal of F&C is not expected to be announced before the third or fourth quarter.

Friends Provident declined to comment on market speculation.

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