* Emerging market business to focus on Africa
* Trade buyer could buy Old Mutual Global Investors
* Keeping relationship with accountants KPMG under review
By Carolyn Cohn
LONDON, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Old Mutual may sell
subsidiaries in China, Colombia, Mexico and Uruguay as part of
its planned break-up, the chief executive of the financial
services group said on Thursday.
Anglo-South African Old Mutual is looking at industry as
well as private equity buyers for British asset manager Old
Mutual Global Investors, Bruce Hemphill told Reuters.
Old Mutual, which gets the majority of its revenues from
South Africa but is primarily regulated in Britain, is splitting
in four because it is complex and expensive to run, he said.
Emerging market investors may be prevented by their mandates
from buying Old Mutual because of its UK and U.S. businesses,
while the company's disparate make-up dims its appeal to active
investors in developed markets.
"With conglomerates of this size, you tend to end up with a
level of mediocrity which creeps in," Hemphill said, adding that
the company's share price had been rangebound in recent years.
The $13 billion FTSE 100 company, which also has a
Johannesburg listing, has said it will list UK wealth manager
Old Mutual Wealth in London and Johannesburg by the end of 2018.
It will also dual-list Old Mutual Limited (OML), a new
holding company which includes its emerging markets division,
its majority stake in South Africa's Nedbank and Old
Old Mutual sold its Indian joint venture stake to Kotak
Mahindra Bank for 156 million pounds ($205 million) earlier this
year, and its stake in a Chinese joint venture with Guodian Corp
is also on the block, Reuters reported in April.
Hemphill said sales of its Chinese venture and Latin
American businesses were likely.
"The idea is to be focused on Africa," Hemphill said, adding
that while Old Mutual was willing to sell them, it was not a
"forced seller" of the relatively small businesses.
Old Mutual's Asia and Latin America division posted adjusted
operating profit of 22 million pounds in 2016, while the group's
adjusted operating profit was 928 million pounds.
Potential buyers of Old Mutual Global Investors (OMGI), run
by veteran British investor Richard Buxton, had until the end of
last week to submit tentative bids for the business, sources
familiar with the matter told Reuters.
Old Mutual is aiming for a price tag of at least 500 million
pounds, one source told Reuters, while another said it had
attracted bids from private equity firms including TA Associates
and Hellman & Friedman.
Hemphill declined to comment on the details, but said it was
looking at all options and there may also be industry buyers.
Within a few months of joining Old Mutual as CEO in 2015,
Hemphill announced the break-up, which will leave him without a
job but could land him a maximum bonus of 1,000 percent of his
2016 base salary of 900,000 pounds.
KPMG UNDER REVIEW
Old Mutual has yet to decide whether or not to continue
using KPMG as its auditor, Hemphill said.
The African arm of Germany's Munich Re this week
dropped KPMG, the latest company to distance itself from the
accountancy firm entangled in a scandal involving friends of
South African President Jacob Zuma.
"It's deeply concerning what is emerging," Hemphill said,
adding Old Mutual had expressed its concerns to "the highest
level" of KPMG management.
Old Mutual would keep its relationship with KPMG under
review until KPMG completes its internal investigation, he said.
($1 = 0.7610 pounds)
(Editing by Alexander Smith)
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