Friends Life shares suspended ahead of Aviva deal

Friends Life shares suspended ahead of Aviva deal

Shares in Friends Life have been suspended with effect from 7.30am today (10 April) ahead of the acquisition of the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital by Aviva.

The move was signposted earlier this week after some confusion about the time and date of the shares going ex-dividend led the market price to drop significantly over the space of several hours. Friends Life’s previous closing price was 429.40 pence.

A statement on the London Stock Exchange this morning detailed that the Guernsey Court is expected to sanction the scheme later today.

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The statement said: “The listing of Friends Life shares is expected to be cancelled with effect from 8.00am on 13 April and further announcements will be made to confirm when the scheme has been sanctioned by the court.”

Aviva shareholders approved the proposed acquisition of Friends Life at the end of March, where 99.79 per cent of votes cast in favour of the ordinary share capital of Friends Life Group being approved and the directors of Aviva to be authorised to implement the acquisition.

A majority of 99.75 per cent were in favour of the directors of Aviva being authorised to allot new ordinary shares, up to an aggregate nominal amount of £276,250,000.

In December last year, Aviva agreed to buy Friends Life in a deal worth £5.6bn.

The acquisition plan saw Friends Life shares valued at 394p, including a second dividend of 24.1p, and the company subsequently being rebranded as Aviva. After the deal was announced, Aviva’s share price fell by 3.9 per cent.