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Prudential announces rights issue to fund prospective acquisition

Prudential has launched the UK's biggest rights issue as it looks to raise mergers and acquisitions funding.

17 May 2010

Prudential has moved a step closer to completing a planned acquisition of the Asian arm of the AIG Group by launching a rights issue aimed at raising the funds needed for the deal.

Following on from the news that the Financial Services Authority (FSA) has given the green light to the planned acquisition, the insurer has announced that it is to offer its shareholders the chance to buy more shares at 104 pence each.

This represents a 40 per cent discount on the closing prices of the day of the rights issue.

It is anticipated that the initiative, which also represents the largest-ever rights issue in the UK, will help raise £14.5 billion in cash and potentially boost shareholder support for the deal ahead of negotiations and a vote in June.

Launching the prospectus for the rights issue, Prudential chief executive Tidjane Thiam stated his optimism that the merger with AIG's Asia business will go-ahead.

"The combined business will be a fast growing and highly profitable company, with a leading position in many of the most attractive markets in the world," he noted.

Meanwhile, the London Evening Standard has reported that underwriters in the City will be among those benefitting from a £500 million "fees bonanza" should the merger go ahead as planned.

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