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Resolution outlines Friends split sell-off plans

Resolution has set out proposals to split Friends Life into two separately listed businesses which could be sold off on their own.

As part of its 2011 results, published today, the consolidation firm says it will continue to look for exit options involving mergers and acquisitions but it also needs a “self managed” exit option.

Last year, Resolution announced it was to split its operations between open and closed book business, with director Evelyn Bourke running the new closed book “heritage” business.

At the time Friends Life chief executive Andy Briggs (pictured) said the move was not driven by Resolution exit options and the provider had “no plans” to sell-off the closed book separately.

However, Resolution has now put plans in place to ensure the complete division of an OpenCo and a HeritageCo can be achieved by early 2014.

The OpenCo would include the UK “go to market” business units, overseas business and Sesame Bankhall Group, which currently reports to Bourke.

The HeritageCo would consist of the provider’s closed book business and associated parts such as Friends Life Investments, Friends Life’s listed debt and the UK pension fund.

Resolution says it will continue to look at the acquisition of smaller bolt-on businesses to enhance the OpenCo and further acquisitions of UK closed life funds.

Resolution says: “It remains the company’s intention to look for exit options involving mergers and acquisitions which would allow shareholders to benefit from the synergies arising from further consolidation.

“Whilst Resolution Operations is actively investigating such opportunities and has advised that it believes consolidation of the UK life industry will continue and that attractive transactions may be available, the company considers it important to have a “self-managed” exit plan which is not reliant on M&A opportunities and could be implemented on a stand-alone basis.

“Such a self-managed exit plan will also form a benchmark against which M&A exit opportunities can be assessed.”

Resolution was in takeover discussions with Phoenix Group, the business Resolution founder Clive Cowdrey sold to Hugh Osmond in 2008, but they ended in November.

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Comments

There are 2 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Another Resolution sell off.
    Does wonders for redundancies

  2. No surprise really – asset stripping.

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