At least one more company, thought to be the world's largest reinsurer, Swiss Re, is conducting due diligence on takeover target Resolution Group, The Telegraph reports.
It is understood that further requests to see paperwork already viewed by predators Pearl Group and Standard Life have been made under Rule 20.2 of the Takeover Panel code. Under the code, only “another offeror or bona fide potential offeror” can apply to see the documents.
The revelations come as speculation mounted that the bid frenzy surrounding Resolution is about to gather pace, with the Takeover Panel rumoured to be issuing a “put up or shut up” deadline as early as today. It is thought Pearl and Standard Life will be given a deadline of October 26 to either make an offer or walk away.
On Wednesday, Resolution said it had rebuffed a joint 660p-a-share approach from rival and 16.5% shareholder Pearl in conjunction with the Royal London Mutual Insurance Society, claiming it undervalued the group.
SIR RICHARD BRANSON’S VIRGIN GROUP is in talks to buy Northern Rock, the stricken mortgage bank, The Times reports. The group has already met Northern Rock’s management.
The Times reported exclusively this morning that the mobile phones and flights giant is in discussions with a group of Middle East and US investors about forming a consortium that will inject cash into the bank in exchange for a controlling stake.
One source close to the talks said this morning: "Virgin is looking at Northern Rock and considering its next move." Northern Rock's shares rose almost 2% in early trading to 262.5p.
If successful, Virgin would take over the day-to-day management of the business and bring it under its Virgin Money brand, which offers mortgages, credit cards and insurance services.
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