Bidding war puts future of Resolution in doubt

The future of Resolution Asset Management (RAM) remains in doubt, after a series of offers for the Resolution group last week. Standard Life appeared to have won a three-way tussle, after Resolution’s board recommended its offer to shareholders on Friday.

However, in a dramatic twist, Pearl Assurance announced it had increased its stake in Resolution to 24.18% and would raise its offer to £7.20 per share. Pearl had cautioned Standard Life and Resolution investors on a merger of the firms earlier the same day.

It claimed a merger of the two firms would be a “poorly conceived acquisition with a limited strategic fit”. Investors in Standard Life agreed and the firm’s share price jumped upwards on news of the increased Pearl bid.

More bids may follow, but Standard Life may have limited room for manoeuvre. RAM is likely to remain unchanged in the event of a Pearl merger.