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Duke Street founder’s Tungsten eyes Scottish Widows, Direct Line

1 May 2012

Tungsten, the £500m bid vehicle of Duke Street founder Edmund Truell, is believed to be mulling two separate offers for the Direct Line and Scottish Widows insurance businesses.

Truell is understood to have made a preliminary takeover approach to state-backed lender Lloyds Banking Group for life assurance, pensions and savings unit Scottish Widows, which could be valued at up to £6bn, the Evening Standard reported.

However, Lloyds said yesterday that Scottish Widows remains a core part of its operations, and added that it had not received any formal approach for the business.

In a separate deal, the vehicle is also said to be mulling the buyout of Royal Bank of Scotland’s Direct Line motor insurance arm, which is said be worth around £5bn, the Times reported, although the firm is yet to table a formal offer.

Truell set up Tungsten with his brother Danny, chief investment officer of UK charity The Wellcome Trust. Tungsten’s proposed £200m listing in London is said to be scheduled for May.

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