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Friends deal is rebuffed

RESOLUTION Clive Cowdery is expected to approach life insurer Friends Provident&rsquo;s shareholders directly with his &pound;1.7bn merger bid, after it emerged that the board will reject his approach later today.<br /><br />Friends&rsquo; board will issue a statement rejecting the offer price, which it believes to be too low. But investment vehicle Resolution is&nbsp; understood to have other ideas.