Predator becomes prey

RESOLUTION’S timing is uncanny. Just a day after Prudential’s embarrassing delay to its £14bn cash call, along comes chief executive John Tiner with strong first quarter results announcing loud and clear that he is ready to pounce. Resolution had already held talks with Prudential earlier this year over the potential acquisition of its UK arm, consequently broken up after Pru decided to pursue the Asian arm of AIG – AIA . With its transformational deal to buy AIA looking doomed, and consequently its reputation in tatters now is the perfect time for Tiner to pick it up on the cheap. Resolution has enough funding to create a business with an embedded value – a commonly used measure for insurers – of £10bn. The UK arm of Prudential has an embedded value of £5bn, according to analysts. Tiner is under pressure to do a deal to boost Resolution, whose shares have lost about 25 per cent of their value since it completed its £1.86bn deal for Friends Provident last year. Pru UK could provide an easy solution.