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GE may return to ScotLife bidding

GE Capital may re-enter the bidding for Scottish Life if an auction is declared or if IFAs show sufficient support for a GE-owned ScotLife, claim sources close to GE.

The move follows the suspension of talks on Friday between GE and ScotLife after failing to agree a price.

It is believed the pension specialist did not think the £1bn price tag was enough. GE insiders say it withdrew because ScotLife became distracted by other offers of more money .

GE was widely considered a perfect fit with ScotLife as it could provide the financial support ScotLife needs to survive stakeholder. ScotLife insiders hope GE will remain in the picture.

Royal London and Liverpool Victoria are also claimed to be lining up for negotiations with ScotLife.

ScotLife says if a deal goes through, policyholders are likely to receive policy enhancements rather than a cash sum. It is expected to make a decision on the way forward within two weeks.

Sources close to GE say: “GE Capital would consider re-entering negotiations if an auction is declared. We believe, and we think top managers in ScotLife believe, GE Capital is the ideal answer for ScotLife.”

“A perfect solution has been lost and it will stay lost unless a proper auction is declared or GE hears of a strong broker reaction, in which case it will look at the price.”

Alan Steel Asset Management managing director Alan Steel says: “I would prefer GE if I was a policyholder. GE understands how to run a business, make a profit and give good returns to customers. They will be a breath of fresh air.”

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