Edinburgh-based insurer Standard Life is poised to wreck the GBP8 billion merger of Resolution and Friends Provident by bidding for Resolution, reported The Press Association.

The report quoted Standard Life as saying that the company had not decided anything substantial regarding the offer.

The report quoted a statement from the company as saying: Standard Life confirms that it is monitoring the announced proposed merger between Resolution and Friends Provident and is considering the possibility of a cash and shares offer for Resolution, which might possibly include disposals of certain assets.

Any offer would only be made if the Standard Life board considered it to be in the best interests of Standard Life shareholders.

Meanwhile, both Resolution and Friends Provident have reached the stage of seeking shareholder approval regarding the merger.

The report also mentioned speculation that Pearl Assurance, Swiss Re and Axa were in the fray to acquire Resolution.