Phoenix Group Tumbles After Ending Takeover Talks With CVC

Phoenix Group Holdings (PGH), the U.K.’s biggest manager of closed life insurance funds, declined by the most on record in London trading after saying it ended takeover talks with private equity firm CVC Capital Partners Ltd.

The stock fell as much 7.8 percent, the most since it began trading on London Stock Exchange in November 2009, after Phoenix said in a statement today that CVC’s offer was too low. The stock was down 5.9 percent at 536 pence at 9:01 a.m. in London.

“The terms proposed by CVC did not reflect our view of the full value of Phoenix and its stable, long-term cash flows,” Chief Executive Officer Clive Bannister said in the statement. Phoenix is not in talks with any other party, it said.

Phoenix, which buys life insurance policies and profits by releasing capital from them as they mature, has 2.7 billion pounds of debt, almost half of which matures in 2014, compared with a market value of 1 billion pounds. The stock is the worst performer in the FTSE 350 Life Insurance Index in the last month.

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