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OldMut steps up Skandia bid

Old Mutual says it is looking at improving its 3.1bn cash and stock offer for Skandia.

Old Mutual believes it has the support of the majority of the big shareholders it has held discussions with and expects to table a formal offer shortly.

The deal outlined comprises a 40 per cent cash offer of 308p per share, with the remaining 60 per cent paid for in stock. Although Old Mutual believes it can garner considerable support for the bid, it says it is considering “selected modifications” to the offer to secure the Skandia board’s backing.

The Skandia board is bel-ieved to be holding out for a higher bid but has not yet had formal offers despite a host of suitors being linked to the firm.

Since Old Mutual first notified the market of its interest, Skandia’s share price has risen by almost 20 per cent and is now trading fractionally below the 309p offer price.

An Old Mutual spokesman says: “Old Mutual is considering selected modifications to the proposal to address issues raised by the board of Skandia.”

A Skandia spokesman says: “Discussions with Old Mutual are continuing.”

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