21 Jan, 2008
Published: 10:53 Monday 21 January 2008
By: Nicholas Paler, Investment Reporter
Private Equity firm JC Flowers has
confirmed it is considering a bid for Friends Provident after
revealing it owns a 2.7% stake in the firm.
In a statement to the stock exchange JC Flowers said it intends to
approach the Board of Friends (FP.) with a view to developing a
proposal that 'will deliver value for Friends Provident's
Friends Provident's share price soared mid-morning following the
announcement, building on early gains after a hectic weekend when
it was first announced the firm was the target of a possible
takeover by JC Flowers.
Its shares were up nearly 8%, or 11.8p, to 164.3p at 10.43am.
JC Flowers, which is also considering whether to merely increase
its position in Friends, is reportedly prepared to pay around 175p
With rumours of a takeover rife, it is also understood that Friends
made a move to poach Standard Life's chief executive of financial
services, Trevor Matthews, and install him as its own chief
executive following the departure of Philip Moore.
However, it is believed Matthews has chosen to reject the offer,
opting to stay put at the insurance giant.
Friends Provident declined to comment about either the approach to
Matthews or the move by JC Flowers to increase its stake in the
It is currently undergoing its strategic review, with an
announcement about the company's plans going forward expected
at the end of the month.
Standard Life also declined to comment on the approach for