Guardian Royal Exchange is still in active takeover talks with other life offices despite a formal approach from Royal & SunAlliance.
GRE began formal talks with R&SA last week. But the insurer is also looking at bids from other firms, including Eureko, an alliance of seven European insurers.
Industry sources say Axa, which was expected to make a formal offer for the firm, pulled out of the bidding over the asking price of GRE. But the French insurer has not ruled out tabling a higher bid.