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Cowdery takes £2bn AXA rights issue pitch to major shareholders

RESOLUTION was in talks with its largest shareholders yesterday over the planned £2bn rights issue it will use to part-fund a swoop on AXA’s UK life and pensions business.

Insurance entrepreneur Clive Cowdery’s team, led by former Lazard banker Jon Hack, is understood to be discussing a novel underwriting structure with investors including Aviva, Legal & General and Schroders. Although details of the scheme are unclear, Resolution is known to be taking advice from Barclays Capital and Royal Bank of Canada.

Resolution plans to buy the bulk of AXA’s UK operations for £2.75bn, a 20 per cent discount to embedded value (EV). Analysts have welcomed the deal, although Goldman Sachs has warned Resolution will need to make £520m of EV cost savings.