Hester plays hard to get over Zurich bid for RSA

Caitlin Morrison
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RSA BOSS Stephen Hester wants prospective buyer Zurich to put up or shut up, as the insurance giants edge towards a potential merger.

The Swiss insurer last week revealed that it is considering making a bid for RSA, and now has until 25 August to make a formal offer, or announce that it has decided against the purchase.

Hester told City A.M. that he wants a quick decision. “Hopefully the talks will be over quickly enough that it won’t have an impact, because it’s unsettling for our staff,” he said, adding that he is not inclined towards a deal.

“The plan for this company is to make it successful on its own.”

Speaking after publication of the British insurance firm’s half year results, which came in ahead of market expectations, Hester said he had “no idea” whether Zurich would make an offer. “We didn’t know they were talking about a bid,” he said. “We are not in the business of drumming up interest in buying the company.”

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