Royal & Sun Alliance is in talks with giant Dutch rival Aegon over a £1bn-plus sale of its life ins...
Royal & Sun Alliance is in talks with giant Dutch rival Aegon over a £1bn-plus sale of its life insurance division. Its fund management arm is also on the block, City sources confirm, as part of a strategy of focusing on general insurance worldwide.
The potential further shake-up in the industry comes as the global ambitions of the Prudential lie in tatters after its £18bn bid for American General was trumped by US rival AIG last week.
Goldman Sachs, the investment bank, is under fire for its handling of Prudential. The US bank unsuccessfully asked Prudential at least twice to appoint it as an adviser on the British firm's proposed $20 billion (£14 billion) takeover of American General. p>After it had been turned down, Goldman emerged as a key banker to AIG, which last week made a counter-bid of $23 billion for American General. Prudential was "surprised" at the actions of Goldman, which has been an adviser for many years. It is most unlikely to use the bank in the future.
Stories on Marks & Spencer's and Marconi in thw weekend press has sent shares in both companies downward (see market report). In the case of M&S both Sunday Business and the Guardian see a takeover bid on the horizon as the companies recovery strategy is in doubt.
Marconi, the FT reports, may have transformed itself from the old General Electric into a telecoms equipment maker at precisely the wrong time by acquiring US companies at the height of the bear market and thereby paying over the odds.
With the slowdown in the US concern over Marconi's US exposure and possible imminent profits warning on top of 3,000 job losses revealed by Sunday Business the market is awaiting, impatiently, calming words from the top.
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