British insurance takeover specialist Resolution said it had held talks with rival Phoenix about buying the company, but the discussions have now ended.

Resolution confirms that whilst it did investigate the possible acquisition of Phoenix Group with both Phoenix and its lending banks, these talks have now terminated, Resolution said in a statement on Sunday.

The Sunday Times had reported that Resolution was close to securing a 1.2 billion pound all-share takeover of Phoenix, representing a 40 percent premium to its closing price on Friday.

($1 = 0.633 British Pounds)

(Reporting by Myles Neligan; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)