Prudential dismisses speculation about resurrecting AIA deal

6th June 2010, Comments 0 comments

British insurer Prudential on Sunday said it would not resurrect its failed bid for US insurer AIG's Asian unit, calling speculation about reviving the mammoth takeover "misguided and inaccurate".

Last week, Prudential abandoned its bid for American International Group's AIA subsidiary, throwing the future of its chief executive Tidjane Thiam into doubt amid shareholder anger over the collapsed deal.

Both he and Prudential chairman Harvey McGrath have insisted that no heads will roll following the collapse of the AIA deal. Thiam will face shareholders at the company's annual general meeting on Monday.

The aborted deal, which ended Prudential's quest to become the world's top insurance firm outside of China, came one day after troubled AIG refused to cut the price tag from 35.5 billion US dollars to nearer 30 billion dollars.

The huge transaction, which would have been the biggest-ever takeover in the insurance sector, had needed re-negotiation because of turbulent financial markets, Prudential said.

The company's statement on Sunday came in response to a report in Britain's Sunday Times that cited unnamed sources as saying Thiam was planning to revive the AIA takeover, derailing its possible flotation in Hong Kong.

"We remain highly committed to Asia through our current very successful business," Prudential said in the statement Sunday.

"(But) we will not be resurrecting the AIA deal and any speculation is misguided and inaccurate."

Last month, Prudential took out secondary listings in Hong Kong and Singapore to woo Asian investors ahead of a planned issue of shares designed to raise 21 billion US dollars to help fund the now-aborted AIA takeover.

The collapsed deal cost Prudential some 450 million pounds (650 million dollars), including a break-fee of more than 152 million pounds.

© 2010 AFP

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