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Pearl close to raising £500m for stock market float

Pearl has revealed it is close to a capital restructure that would raise £500m in new equity from investors for a stock market flotation after which it will pursue acquisitions.

In an announcement today, Hugh Osmond’s life assurance group said the deal was subject to agreement with its lenders, approval of the FSA and certain other conditions.

After flotation, Pearl is likely to target acquisitions in the distressed life assurance space.

The board of Pearl Group Holdings announced on 25 March 2009 that it would defer payment of the coupon of the notes, following a decision to maintain an increased level of prudence in the current environment.

Pearl is also evaluating the making, or procuring of, a tender offer for the notes and outstanding coupon at a value at, or close to, the last traded price on 24 March 2009 of 12.5 pence.

Pearl has arranged a formal noteholders’ meeting on May 6.

In March Pearl deferred making a £33m interest payment on £500m worth of bonds.

The bonds, were issued by Clive Cowdery’s original Resolution before it was taken over by Pearl in 2007.

In a statement to the City, the firm blamed market conditions.

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