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Pru venture capital arm touted as Cunard buyer

Prudential&#39s venture capital arm PPM Ventures is staying tightlipped over reports that it is negotiating to buy the cruise liner company Cunard.

PPM Ventures, which specialises in management buyouts of unquoted companies, is rumoured to be looking to buy the company which has been losing money since its owner Trafalgar House was taken over by Kvaerner in April 1996. Kvaerner has made no secret of its desire to sell Cunard, which owns the QE2.

Kvaerner describes Cunard as a "non-core activity" but vice president of corporate communications Paul Emberley says the company is not in exclusive talks with anyone and will not name potential buyers.

Because of the nature of PPM Ventures, the transaction would have no impact on the Pru&#39s share price.

PPM Ventures has a fund of £1bn and invests on behalf of the Prudential life fund and segregated pension fund clients.

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