Skandia, the pride of Sweden’s financial services sector, has finally admitted the obvious and called for an Extraordinary General Meeting to consider a new board in the wake of Old Mutual’s takeover bid.

South African-based insurance and financial services firm Old Mutual, which extended its offer for a fourth time until January 23 (in Europe), has already secured the support of almost 70 per cent of Skandia shareholders for its takeover bid. A Skandia spokesperson said an EGM would be called shortly. “;The ownership picture has changed, so it is reasonable that the new owners get a chance to have a say with regards to the board,”; the spokesperson told a European press agency. The Skandia board, which had been strenuously resisting the $US5.6 billion takeover offer, decided on the EGM when it became apparent last week Old Mutual had approval from 69.7 per cent of Skandia shareholders as well as the green light from the UK regulatory body, the Financial Services Authority (FSA). The tick from the FSA is thought to be the last major regulatory hurdle for the Old Mutual takeover of Skandia and the offer is expected to go unconditional following the January 23 deadline. While Old Mutual has not made any specific comments about its plans for the Australian Skandia operations, no change, at least in the short-term, is predicted. Skandia has just over $3 billion in funds under administration on its Australian platform.

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