Old Mutual has confirmed that it has received approaches to buy a stake in its asset management business, but stopped short of confirming reports that a deal has been agreed with US firm AMG.
In a statement issued this afternoon London time, the publicly-traded, British-South African insurance group said that, in response to media speculation, it could confirm that it had heard from entities interested in potentially buying the business, but added that there was “no certainty” that any deal would be concluded.
The statement read: “Old Mutual can confirm that it is continuing to assess the options available to it with regard to the preferred route to effect the managed separation announced on 11 March.
“With regard to OM Asset Management plc (“OMAM”), Old Mutual confirms that it has received approaches from third parties to acquire its stake.”
Earlier today, The Financial Times and other publications reported that the company was close to a deal to sell its US asset management business to New York-listed Affiliated Managers Group (AMG). The FT said that the financial group’s board had “endorsed” the transaction, which would be a cash and share deal.
It quoted two people familiar with the plans as its source of information, and added that in exchange for its 66% stake in Old Mutual Asset Management, valued at about US$1bn, Old Mutual plc would receive cash and a 10 per cent stake in AMG.
In its statement, Old Mutual didn’t name the parties that had expressed an interest in the OMAM stake or say whether any deal was close to conclusion, and said it would update the market “as and when appropriate”.
As reported in March, Old Mutual has announced plans to break up its business into four parts by the end of 2018, in an effort to “unlock value” trapped inside the group structure. The four parts are Old Mutual Emerging Markets, Old Mutual Wealth, Nedbank and OM Asset Management.
AMG, which owns stakes in a number of specialist investment houses, including activist manager Value Act Capital and UK-based Artemis, didn’t comment on the reports of its interest in the OMAM stake, according to the FT.