Friends Provident admitted it was left surprised by the extent of its almost 18% share price slide yesterday.
The insurer led London’s Monday market meltdown, plummeting 17.60 points to close on 81p.
Communications head Peter Timberlake says the firm was taken aback by the dramatic decline.
“We don’t know the reason why our share price has fallen far more than our competitors,” he says.
Timberlake says the company “would not speculate” on whether its share price slide may flush out possible Friends takeover parties, which are said to include Clive Cowdery’s Resolution Limited and US private equity firm JC Flowers.
“We are getting on with our strategic review and implementing our new strategy,” Timberlake says.
Friends’ share price has fallen further this morning, down 1.98% to 79.40p.
The insurer’s share value is now almost half the 150p per share formally offered by JC Flowers back in April this year.
According to the Takeover Panel rules, JC Flowers is unable to lodge another bid for Friends until the middle of next month unless there is a "material change of circumstances".
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