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Friday, July 11, 2014

Britain's Friends Life to sell Lombard unit to Blackstone, (NYSE: BX)

Friends Life Group Ltd said it would sell Lombard, its European wealth advisory arm, to Blackstone Group for an initial consideration of 317 million pounds ($532 million), and use part of the proceeds to purchase back shares.The life and pensions group has been looking to offload Lombard since late last year. The division, which sells tax-efficient insurance products to ultra-rich clients, has been struggling with uncertainty in its core Luxembourg and Belgian markets.The total value of the deal, expected to close in the second half of 2014, could go up to 356 million pounds in five years, based on the value of Lombard's assets under administration.Friends Life said it would buy back shares worth 261 million pounds after the completion of the sale.

The Blackstone Group L.P. (Blackstone) is a manager of private capital and provider of financial advisory services. Shares of BX fell by 1.8% or $-0.59/share to $32.26. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $21.30 and as high as $35.39. On average, 4992280 shares of BX exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 6028133.