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Legal & General Hits 12-Month High Amid Takeover Speculation

Legal & General Group Plc (LGEN), the U.K.’s second-largest insurer by assets, rose to a 12-month high in London trading amid speculation it may receive a takeover offer.

The stock rose 3 percent to 90.4 pence as of 12:10 p.m., the highest level since October 2008. The 173-year-old insurer may be targeted by Australian insurer AMP Ltd. (AMP) or Clive Cowdery’s Resolution Ltd., (RSL) the Independent newspaper said today.

“Legal & General’s shares are continuing to climb because of the speculation around who is going to make a bid for them,” said Barrie Cornes, a London-based analyst at Panmure Gordon & Co., who has a “buy” rating on the stock. “The shares will probably go higher because of the expectation a bid will come.”

Legal & General has climbed 20 percent this week amid the speculation. Assicurazioni Generali SpA, Italy’s largest insurer, said yesterday it wasn’t interested in making an offer for the insurer after U.K. newspapers said it was mulling a bid.

Steve Leach, a spokesman for the London-based insurer, declined to comment.

To contact the reporters on this story: Andrew MacAskill in London at amacaskill@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at eevans3@bloomberg.net

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