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Reports: L&G eyes Prudential's £10B annuities biz

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Reports: L&G eyes Prudential's £10B annuities biz

Legal & General Group Plc is reportedly considering bidding for a £10 billion chunk of Prudential Plc's annuity portfolio.

"A person familiar with the matter" said L&G has the capital to fund an acquisition of the business, or a smaller slice of it, but that it continues to be on the lookout for other options in the meantime, The Times reported.

Prudential was reported in July to be weighing up the sale of part of its annuities business because of the additional capital requirements under Europe's Solvency II rules.

In its first-half results published Aug. 10, Prudential announced plans to merge its asset manager, M&G Investment Management Ltd., with its Prudential UK & Europe insurance business, fueling speculation of a potential break-up of the insurer to focus on its Asia and U.S. operations. CEO Mike Wells, however, stressed that the move was driven by a desire to create efficiency, enabling the two companies to share some of their back-office, IT and digital functions, and thereby leading to a reduction in costs.

Meanwhile, L&G reported Aug. 9 that its new bulk annuity business more than doubled in the first half to £1.6 billion, and said it is interested in taking on more closed books following its acquisition of a £3 billion annuity portfolio from AEGON NV in 2016, The Times said.

Other potential bidders for Prudential's annuity portfolio include Rothesay Life Plc, Pension Insurance Corp. Plc and Scottish Widows Ltd. Aviva Plc, which was also named as a potential buyer, is not preparing a bid, The Daily Telegraph reported Aug. 13, citing "a person close to the company."