June 26, 2018 / 7:04 AM / 3 months ago

Old Mutual wraps up four-way break-up with Johannesburg listing

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Old Mutual plc will list its African financial services unit in Johannesburg on Tuesday, returning to its roots as a South African-based financial services group and largely wrapping up a radical break up plan.

FILE PHOTO: Workers clean windows outside the Cape Town headquarters of Anglo-South African financial services company Old Mutual, March 7, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings/File Photo/File Photo

The 173-year old company has been breaking itself up to disentangle its costly conglomerate structure stemming from a hodge-podge of disjointed acquisitions since 1999 when it moved its headquarters and primary listing to London.

Chief Executive Bruce Hemphill set the carve-up in motion in 2016, saying the company’s four main businesses — a U.S. asset manager, a British wealth manager, an African financial services unit and a South African bank — would achieve higher investor ratings as independent, separate entities.

Old Mutual Plc’s African financial services unit, Old Mutual Ltd, is expected to start trading later on Tuesday in Johannesburg, where it would have a primary listing.

“When I joined Old Mutual plc as chairman in January 2010, I promised that I would leave the businesses stronger and with attractive prospects in their respective markets. All four companies now meet these objectives as separate, independent firms,” Chairman Patrick O’Sullivan said in a statement.

Old Mutual, which traces its roots to a mid-19th century South Africa as the country’s first mutual aid society by 166 members, has already sold its U.S. asset management business and on Monday separately listed its U.K wealth arm, renamed Quilter.

(This version of the story was refiled to add attribution)

Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng, editing by Louise Heavens

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