Old Mutual veteran set to lead Phoenix Group offer

PRIVATE equity house CVC has brought in Jim Sutcliffe, the former chief executive of Old Mutual, to lead its £1bn takeover bid for closed life and pension fund group Phoenix, it was reported yesterday.

CVC is believed to have access to a data room to conduct due diligence but declined to comment last night.

Clive Cowdery’s Resolution has walked away from a deal after failing to agree on a valuation but Swiss Re, whose Admin Re unit specialises in buying insurers that are closed to new customers, could make an offer.

Phoenix, created from a restructuring of Pearl last year, remains burdened by £2bn in debt incurred to finance that deal but is thought to have received a total of 10 approaches.