Phoenix Group, the "zombie" life fund business formerly known as Pearl, is keen to raise cash from its £10bn book of annuity policies.
The group will use the funds to explore closed life fund acquisitions more quickly, the Financial Times understands.
Phoenix, which moves to a full primary listing on the LSE today, needs to pay down 10% of nearly £3bn in bank debt before it can explore new deals and escape a dividend cap.
Pearl was forced into a complex financial restructuring in 2009 after the group struggled under the debt taken on in 2008 to complete a £5bn takeover of rival closed life fund group, Resolution.
Ron Sandler and Jonathan Moss, chairman and chief executive of Phoenix, said ahead of the listing the group's priority was to pay down its remaining debt through ordinary operating cash flows. They said it would take six-to-nine months to pay off the 10% needed to give the group more operating freedom.
Bankers familiar with the group said it was exploring ways to escape some restraints more quickly. This includes looking at sale, securitisation and hedging options to draw cash out of its £10bn annuity book, which represents about a seventh of the group's assets.
The paper also understands some people close to Phoenix want to consider the sale of a stake in Ignis, the group's asset management arm, as a way of generating more capital. But a source told the FT any such plans would not be considered until much later.
Phoenix intends to become an active consolidator of closed life funds in the future. The company, which trades at about half its book value compared with an average of 70% for other listed life companies, hopes to attract traditional UK institutions to take over ownership from its collection of US hedge funds and other private equity players.
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