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Friends Provident and Resolution set to close the deal

Friends Provident and Resolution look set to close the deal to create Friends Financial Group with the date of the merger set for November 29, 2007.

Both companies released statements this morning announcing that they would be publishing shareholder documentation later today and were entering the “closing stages” of the merger.

Resolution and Friends Provident will be holding an Extraordinary General Meeting on November 5 to propose the deal to shareholders.

Discussions have been held with ratings agencies and the expected effective date of the merger is Thursday 29 November 2007.

Resolution group chief executive Mike Biggs says: “Today’s publication of the shareholder documents marks the closing stages of our merger, as we move towards the EGM and then completion. We are looking forward to having further meetings with our shareholders. The work we have done in recent months, combined with our track record of delivery, reinforces our confidence in the strong growth and value we expect to create from Friends Financial.”

Friends Provident chief executive Philip Moore says: “We are looking forward to the successful completion of the merger with Resolution. All the work we have done on the merger over the last couple of months gives us every confidence that the combination of these two businesses is the right thing to do, because we expect the merger to create significant value opportunities for shareholders and customers from the combination of Friends Provident’s product and service expertise, Resolution’s cash flow and our broad, combined distribution capabilities.”

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