South Africa’s largest insurance company, is divideing into four parts

Shopprice ZA:

Old Mutual, South Africa’s largest insurance company, is to divide into four units to “unlock value currently trapped” in the business.It is hoped to take two years to individual the four divisions – Old Mutual Emerging Markets, Old Mutual Wealth, Nedbank and OM Asset Management.

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Bruce Hemphill, chief executive, who earlier this week ensured the company was considering a break-up, said the current structure was costly and offered “insufficient synergies to justify those costs”. “Our new technique will allow each business to have simpler access to capital markets to fund its growth more easily and be valued more exactly, with more straight forward regulatory arrangements,” he added.

The decision came after a strategic review led by Hemphill following his arrival at the firm from Standard Bank in November.The news was well received, with shares up more than 3 per cent, or 5.7p, at 191p.

The company, which was founded in 1845, also reported a 4 per cent rise in pre-tax adjusted operating profit of £1.7 billion for the year to December 31.The Anglo-South African group added that the total dividend would increase by 2 per cent to 8.9p a share.