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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Prudential Rejects Aviva Offer

LONDON -- Aviva, Britain's largest insurance company, attempted to woo reluctant takeover target Prudential on Monday, unveiling details of a £17 billion ($30 billion) offer.

Prudential immediately rejected the bid that would create a £36 billion industry giant by market capitalization, reiterating its belief that a marriage of the two companies was not in the best interest of shareholders.

But Prudential shares soared after the announcement, and were 12 percent higher at 753 pence in trading on the London Stock Exchange. Aviva shares were up just 0.3 percent at 853 pence.

Aviva said it would press ahead with the deal only if it was recommended by the Prudential board.

Aviva chief executive Richard Harvey said the merger, which would create the world's fifth-largest insurer by market value, was a "real opportunity to create a leading player in the global savings, investments and insurance market."

Around 42 percent of operating profits of the combined group would come from Britain, with 28 percent coming from Europe, 17 percent from North America and 10 percent in Asia.

The offer, made Thursday, values Prudential at 708 pence per share. Aviva put forward an all-share merger proposal, offering 82 new Aviva shares for every 100 Prudential shares. The bid represents a premium of 10 percent to Prudential's closing price on the day of the offer, but was well short of Prudential's gains Monday.