UK – Insurance giant Aviva has withdrawn its £17bn (€24.6bn) all-share offer for rival Prudential – just four days after the proposal was announced.

Aviva, the owner of Morley Fund Management, said it made clear that its bid, announced on March 20, was dependent on Prudential’s cooperation.

“As this cooperation has not been forthcoming, Aviva has decided to withdraw its proposal,” it said in a brief statement today.

“In coming to its decision, the board of Aviva determined that it was not in the best interests of its shareholders to make any material adjustment to its proposed terms.”

Prudential had said it did not consider the plan to be in the best interests of its shareholders. Aviva added it “reserves the right to make or participate in an offer” for Prudential within the next six months.

A tie-up between the two could have created an entity with a combined assets under management figure of around £440bn.

Aviva chief executive Richard Harvey was quoted as saying by Reuters that a further bid for Prudential was "impossible without constructive engagement and the Prudential have made it very clear that they are fundamentally opposed to that”.