Internet bank Egg may be sold off if insurer Aviva is successful in its bid for smaller rival Prudential as the business does not fit in with its strategy, according to the Daily Telegraph newspaper.
The newspaper quoted unnamed sources who said that Aviva would make the disposal of Egg a priority if its offer for Prudential succeeds. Aviva said officially that it had not yet made a decision on Egg.
Aviva, owner of the Norwich Union brand in the UK, has made a GBP17 billion all share offer for Prudential, although it has stressed that it will only continue on a friendly basis. The offer was made to shareholders after the board rejected the bid in the hope that shareholders interested in the deal would put pressure on management.
Richard Harvey, the chief executive of Aviva who would head the combined business in the event of the merger, said that the deal made sense because it would bring together Aviva’s larger share of the European market with Prudential’s fast growing US and Asia businesses.