Friends Provident's sale of F&C and Lombard remains on track but the insurer will not be forced to offload the units unless the price is right, new chief executive Trevor Matthews says.
Matthews told Reuters Friends does not need to sell the assets to raise funds, as the firm continues to implement its business restructure announced in January.
The insurer’s 52% stake in asset manager F&C and its Luxembourg-based insurance unit Lombard have been on the market for seven months.
“We don't have to sell them... We don't need the proceeds from the sale to support our strategy going forward,” Matthews says. However, the chief executive did confirm the sales were still on track.
Friends Provident announced in May it did not expect to offload its controlling F&C share before Q3 or Q4, as it engaged in discussions with a “limited range of buyers”.
F&C chief executive Alain Grisay hit out at the uncertainty surrounding Friends Provident’s ownership in the firm last month, saying the speculation has hindered the fund manager’s ability to gather new assets.IFAonline
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