Phoenix in £250m share placing

Phoenix Group Holdings, the closed life assurance funds group created by entrepreneur Hugh Osmond, this morning confirmed plans to raise £250m in a share placing.

The placing will enable the firm to reduce its debt pile, from £2.36bn to £1.85bn, as part of a major restructuring.

Phoenix declared a final dividend of 26.7p a share, a 27 per cent increase on the 2011 final dividend.

"I am delighted to announce today the re-terming of Phoenix's debt through the injection of fresh equity, and a significant increase in the dividend per share, which we believe will provide policyholders with enhanced security and deliver excellent value to shareholders," group chief executive Clive Bannister said this morning.