Old Mutual considering break-up options

Speculation is growing that Old Mutual, the global financial services group, may be about to announce plans to break up its operations into four new units.

Portfolio Adviser


South African-based Old Mutual issued a statement to the London Stock Exchange on Monday in response to press reports about a break-up, confirming that it is reviewing all options.

“Old Mutual plc notes the press speculation on Saturday 5 March 2016. When our new chief executive Bruce Hemphill joined on 1 November 2015, we announced that we would be conducting a strategic review,” the company said.

“We can confirm that all options for the strategic review are being considered but no decision has yet been made.

“Old Mutual is due to announce its preliminary results for 2015 on 11 March 2016 and will provide an update on the strategic review at that time.”

Over the weekend The Sunday Times newspaper said the buyout firms Cinvin and Warburg Pincus had tabled bids worth several billion pounds for Old Mutual Wealth.

Old Mutual shares rose as much on 12% on Monday morning in response to all the speculation and ended the moring up 7% to 192.9p at 12:00 GMT, valuing the company at £9.5bn ($13.45bn. €12.3bn).

Restructuring begun

Old Mutual International, which is part of Old Mutual Wealth, recently announced plans to cut back much of its regional operations in Asia in order to focus on two key markets of Hong Kong and Singapore.

Last month the parent company sold Rogge Global Partners, a London-based fixed income fund manager with £24bn under management, to Allianz.

The possible break-up of Old Mutual comes amid a period of unprecedented change among many major insurance companies as they grapple with the introduction of Solvency II rules and the need to boost flagging profitability in a period of low interest rates and investment returns.


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