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Has the FSA signed off Prudential's large acquisition?

There is growing speculation within investment markets that the Financial Services Authority (FSA) has finally provisionally approved Prudential's £24 billion acquisition of AIG's Asian operation. This is an acquisition which has been mired in confusion and delays after the company was initially forced to abandon an announcement regarding fundraising last week. So are we now at the endgame?

It would appear that the FSA has in principle, although as yet unconfirmed officially, agreed to the terms of the acquisition and the capital backing required. Whether this will involve a slight tinkering of the terms of the acquisition remains to be seen but there has been speculation of a possible US$2 billion investment by AIG as part of a fundraising program.

There are many who believe that the acquisition of AIG's Asian operations is a stern test of the Prudential's management which has come under renewed pressure over the last few days. There was initial concern about the size of the transaction and funding options available although these have rescinded somewhat since rumours of FSA approval, in principle, began to surface. We should hear soon whether there has been a change in the FSA standing and whether the transaction is full steam ahead.

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