UK lender Abbey has confirmed that it is in exclusive talks with closed fund investor Resolution to sell its life assurance businesses for a reported GBP4 billion.

Resolution also confirmed that it is negotiating to acquire the entire UK and offshore life businesses of the former Abbey National, adding that the negotiations are at a preliminary stage. Abbey’s portfolio of funds is thought to be one of the largest on the market with an embedded value of GBP3.7 billion when last disclosed.

Resolution was formed in September 2005 from the merger of Resolution Life Group Limited and Britannic Group. The company buys closed life assurance funds, then consolidates them to benefit from the synergies.

The firm said that any transaction would be funded by an appropriate mix of equity and debt, taking account of the capital structure of the businesses being acquired.