Old Mutual says it still plans to list Wealth division

Old Mutual says it still plans to list Wealth division

Old Mutual is still intending to “deliver” its Old Mutual Wealth operation “into the hands of its shareholders by way of a de-merger and [subsequent] listing on both the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges”, the South Africa-based insurer said on Wednesday, in response to a published report that it was quietly seeking a buyer in the marketplace instead.

“No announcement to the contrary has been made,” the statement added.

The statement was in response to a Bloomberg report that it was considering dropping its plans for a listing of the wealth management unit “because of escalating costs from an upgrade of its investment platform”. The report cited as its source an unidentified “person familiar with the matter”.

“While managers at Old Mutual Wealth want to proceed with an initial public offering, executives at the group level are leaning towards options including a sale of the unit, the person said, asking not to be identified because the discussions are private,” the report continued.

It went on to note that upgrades to the wealth unit’s investment platform, which began in 2013, had pushed back the projected completion date, and that delays were said to have added to the cost of the project.

In its statement, Old Mutual said its Wealth division would be giving an update on 11 October.