Two anonymous industry sources have reportedly said that Friends Provident International (FPI) could be sold for up to $750m.
This latest speculation was again rebuffed by Friends Life, with a spokesperson informing International Adviser the company would not comment on market rumour. Goldman Sachs also declined to comment when asked by Bloomberg about the story.
Earlier this month, the company reported a 44% drop in the value of new business over the first half of the year, to which it cited “challenging market conditions”.
It also reported a £47m annualised premium equivalent, down from £70m in 2013, and reflective of poor regular premium business sales across all its regions.
The sale of FPI comes on the back of several large deveopments at the company this year.
In July, it announced a senior management restructure following the departure of Middle East and Africa general manager Matt Waterfield, who is due to relocate back to the UK at the end of September.
In a notice sent to advisers, international chief executive John Van Der Wielen said Marcus Gent, marketing and commercial director of corporate business in the UK, had been appointed as managing director of Middle East and Rest of the World.
With Gent taking on additional responsibilities, Asia managing director, James Tan, will lead the Asia region including Singapore and Hong Kong.
The company said it is “working to ensure that the leadership structure of its ‘go to’ market businesses is best aligned to its business agenda, market opportunities and growth aspirations”.
July also saw the company agree to sell its Luxembourg-based Lombard International Assurance business to global investment group Blackstone for an initial consideration of £317m.
Andy Briggs, group chief executive at Friends Life, said Lombard has always had a different profile to the rest of the Group, and that its disposal is “in the best interests” of both companies.