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AMP $3.45

old mutual consortium circling amp...

  1. rembrandt

    5,816 Posts.

    Hmmm... the speculation continues ...

    AMP mum on buy talk

    AMP today remained tightlipped about whether it had lined up three potential buyers for its troubled British life insurance businesses.

    South African insurer and funds manager Old Mutual, American buyout specialist Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and a consortium including GE Capital had been short-listed to buy the British life businesses, according to The Australian Financial Review.

    However, an AMP spokeswoman today reiterated comments made at the group's annual general meeting in May that AMP had received several approaches from potential buyers for some of its UK assets.

    "The market is certainly aware that there are discussions around that business," she said.

    "If we had something to announce we would announce it."

    Shares in AMP continued to build on last week's gains, picking up 29 cents to $6.96 by close of business. The National Australia Bank dropped 29 cents to $30.80.

    The newspaper said it was understood that AMP was wanting more than £1 billion ($2.47 billion) for its British life funds - National Provident Institution, Pearl and London Life - which have all been closed to new business.

    Last Friday, AMP chief executive Andrew Mohl revealed that National Australia Bank unsuccessfully sounded out AMP about getting its hands on the group's Australian wealth management business back in May.

    NAB last week carried out an overnight raid on AMP's stock, picking up 34.3 million shares in the group.

    The bank fuelled hopes it would make a play for AMP, lifting its stake in the troubled company to 5.4 per cent from 3.1 per cent.

    NAB put a $21 a share offer on the table for all of AMP's operations in 1999 but was rejected by AMP.

    Mr Mohl on Friday detailed how NAB chairman Charles Allen spoke with his AMP counterpart Peter Willcox in late May this year, after AMP shocked investors with its plan to demerge its Australian and United Kingdom businesses.

    Their discussion led to a meeting between Mr Mohl and NAB chief executive Frank Cicutto (pictured), who expressed interest in acquiring AMP's Australian Financial Services (AFS) business in an "off-market" private sale.

    Mr Mohl said NAB was told that AMP already knew that its AFS business was "highly attractive" but that the demerger plan was the best way to realise maximum value for shareholders.

    NAB came back to AMP, saying it was also considering buying its global investment business Henderson, but did not indicate how much it was willing to pay.

    Mr Mohl said NAB was told that if it wanted to take the matter further it would have to put forward a "highly attractive offer with minimal conditions" for the AMP board to consider and put to shareholders.

    However, he said there had not been any response from NAB until last week when it confirmed it had tried to buy up to 174 million AMP shares.

    Speculation about Old Mutual and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co being interested in AMP's UK businesses has been around for the past few months.

    British newspaper The Guardian reported in July that a bid by Old Mutual could value AMP's UK life and funds management businesses at £1 billion to £1.5 billion.

    In May, Britain's Daily Telegraph reported United States buyout firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co was leading a group of private equity companies in preparing an offer for AMP's UK life insurance businesses.

    Mr Cicutto has ruled out NAB acquiring AMP while it still had control of its troubled British life insurance arm.

    Analysts said the revamped speculation about the short-listing of potential buyers for AMP's life assets could have helped push AMP higher today.

    "I think the stock is so much in the hands of traders that it's going to respond to any sort of news flow," one analyst, who asked not to be named, said.

    "It's also just a flow through from last week as people reassess the new lay of the land."

    Source: AAP

    Cheers ... tight stops.

    This is only my view ... read the red stuff.

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