UK insurer Prudential is facing difficulties as it attempts to complete its acquisition of internet bank Egg.

Prudential owns 96% of Egg, but with around 20,000 small shareholders having failed to respond to its share buyback offer, the insurer does not have enough support to automatically purchase the remaining 4% stake.

Prudential believes that many of the 20,000 are early investors, who took up the full 470 shares available in 2000. It is thought that they are holding out because the 127 pence per share offer tendered by Prudential is below the 160 pence per share that they originally paid.