Friends Provident has ceased discussions regarding the sale of its unwanted 52% stake in F&C Asset Management and will now redistribute the stake to its own shareholders.
Friends Provident states:
“On 31st January, 2008, the Board of Friends Provident plc (FP) announced that its continuing ownership of its 52 per cent. interest in F&C Asset Management plc (F&C) did not fit its revised strategy.
“Accordingly, the Board of F&C stated that it intended to explore opportunities for F&C with a view to maximising value for FP’s shareholders.
“As a consequence of that announcement, and further to discussions with the Takeover Panel, F&C was deemed to be in an offer period as defined in the Takeover Code.
“Since that time, both FP and F&C have held discussions with a number of parties concerning a possible transaction involving F&C. Those discussions have now ceased.
“In light of the above, F&C is no longer in an offer period as defined in the Takeover Code.
“As previously announced, FP intends to make a pro-rata distribution of its stake in F&C to its shareholders during 2009. Further information on this distribution will be provided in due course.”