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Old Mutual Says Could Dual-List Wealth, Emerging Markets Units

Old Mutual said on Tuesday its preferred option after splitting into four would be to have two of the new companies listed on both the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges.

Old Mutual said in March it planned to break itself into four parts. The Anglo-South African company expects to complete its restructuring by the end of 2018.

The changes include carving out its emerging markets operations to create a new South African holding company and a company that would mainly comprise wealth operations.

Chief Executive Bruce Hemphill is due to receive a bonus of up to 1,000 percent of his proposed 900,000 pounds 2016 base salary under the firm’s managed separation incentive plan.

Shareholders on Tuesday staged a minor revolt against the pay policy, with more than 18 percent voting against, according to provisional results.

The maximum pay-out from the remuneration plan will depend on performance targets measured at the earlier of the completion of the managed separation, or on March 11, 2020.

Two shareholder advisory groups had recommended shareholders back the pay proposals, but a third, Pensions & Investment Research Consultants (PIRC), recommended voting against it, saying total awards under the incentive scheme were “excessive”.

Hemphill said the firm had received approaches for its businesses from industry and private equity players.

“We are still going through a process,” Hemphill told Reuters by phone. “We have settled on a preferred route, (but) that does not preclude the possibility of someone coming along with an offer.”

Old Mutual Wealth, one of the companies flagged for listing, was valued by analysts earlier in the year at 3-4 billion pounds ($4 billion-$5.3 billion).

Hemphill said despite market fluctuations after last week’s vote to leave the European Union, Britain was still a “sure bet” in the longer term.

He declined to comment on the sale of Old Mutual Wealth’s Italian unit, which has attracted four private equity bidders in its final stages, sources told Reuters last week.

But he said Old Mutual was going through a process of “cleaning up” the Italian wealth business.

It plans to distribute a “significant proportion” of its stake in Nedbank Group Ltd to the shareholders of the new South African holding company.

The FTSE 100-listed <.FTSE> company also said it plans to continue cutting its 65.8 percent stake in U.S. asset management firm OMAM.

Old Mutual said it faces headwinds from weakness in the South African rand and from lower equity markets, but gross sales in the year had been strong.

Old Mutual shares were up 4.8 percent to 186.3 pence at 1312 GMT in line with a bounce in financial stocks following a severe sell-off this week.

Source: Reuters

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