Friends Provident Gets Court Approval, Sets Share Price

June 12, 2001

A British High Court Judge yesterday approved Friends Provident’s demutualization plan. The company is now set to convert to public ownership next month, and set a target price between 210-270 pence ($2.94 – $3.78) for its shares.

The move was overwhelmingly approved by policyholders last week (See previous article). On average they’ll be receiving shares worth between £450 and £540 ($630 and $756) based on the target price. Friends’ market value will be around £3.8 billion ($5.32 billion), making it a blue chip company, whose shares can be expected to do well in the current market.

The demutualized company will also benefit from its alliance with the Eureko consortium. Eureko is expected to invest £200 million ($280 million) in Friends and the ti-up will open new opportunities for its products in Europe.

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