Navigate this market better. Subscribe for FREE stock alerts and information.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Friends Life sells Lombard unit to Blackstone, to buy-back shares, (NYSE: BX)

Friends Life Group Ltd announced disposal of its Lombard unit to Blackstone Group for an initial consideration of 317 million pounds ($532 million) and said it will use part of the proceeds to buy-back shares.The deal, expected to be completed in the second half of 2014, includes 261 million pounds in cash payment, which the insurer will use to buy-back shares."This disposal further improves our cash coverage of the dividend and is in line with our strategy to maximise value from each part of the Group," Andy Briggs, Group chief executive of Friends Life said in a statement on Friday."It moves the Group further towards being a streamlined life insurance company, focused on serving our customers in the UK and our hubs in Hong Kong, Singapore and the UAE through Friends Provident International."

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.