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Friends Prov may axe Lombard and F&C sales, say reports

Friends Provident is reportedly considering scrapping plans to sell off wealth management business Lombard and its 52 per cent stake in F&C.

Last week the insurer told the market it had decided to retain IFA business Pantheon as it had been unable to achieve good value for shareholders through a sale.

Friends Provident revealed it was looking to sell the three businesses in January, and it is thought the insurer was hoping to raise £800m through the disposals.

The Sunday Express reports that current market conditions are making it difficult to find a buyer at the right price for F&C and Lombard and so Friends Provident may decide to hold on to these assets until the market improves, as it has already chosen to do this with Pantheon.

Friends Provident declined to comment on market speculation, but said it would update the market on progress at its interim results on August 7.

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