Old Mutual has declared it has support from shareholders representing 62.5% of Swedish insurer Skandia in its ongoing bid for the company.
Further acceptances are "in the process of calculation" and will be announced tomorrow, 21 December, OM says.
Shareholder choices to support or reject the bid under the so-called 'mix and match' facility set up for smaller shareholders will also be announced then.
The offer opening as a whole meanwhile has been extended to 12 January 2006, although the mix and match facility for those with no more than 1,000 Skandia shares will not be available during the extended offer period.
Jim Sutcliffe, chief executive of Old Mutual, is quoted in a statement: "I am delighted that holders of a majority of shares in Skandia have recognised the exciting potential of combining our two companies and I look forward to welcoming every member of Skandia's staff around the world to the Old Mutual family."
"Together we will be able to provide our customers with the best asset management and retirement solutions the world can offer. The intermediaries with whom we work have even wider product ranges available from which to make their choice."
"We are totally committed to ensuring that this exciting combination delivers excellent results to our shareholders and customers in the coming months and years."
OM expects the bid to be settled in the next month, although the company "reserves the right to extend the Offer beyond 12 January 2006."
Skandia says in a statement released today that its board will publish its reaction tomorrow - 21 December.
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