LONDON - Scottish Life Assurance Co., one of the last U.K insurers owned by its customers, rejected a takeover bid of more $1.4 billion from GE Capital Corp., people familiar with the decision said.
The Edinburgh-based insurer is in talks with other potential buyers, said Alasdair Buchanan, a company spokesman. He declined to give the amount of GE Capital's bid, which was never made public.
Financial companies are buying U.K. insurers and retirement-planning businesses to gain the steady fees that their businesses generate. Scottish Life manages money for 500,000 policyholders.
"In the ongoing trend toward consolidation, the name of the game is acquiring customers and increasing scale to cut costs," said Graham Campbell, a fund manager at Edinburgh Fund Managers. "Scottish Life brings that."
At least two Scottish Life rivals have been bought this year. Lloyds TSB Group PLC bought Scottish Widows Fund & Life Assurance Society and Abbey National PLC, the second-largest U.K. mortgage lender, agreed last week to buy Scottish Provident Institution.