Old Mutual to hang onto SA insurer

Lihle Z Mtshali

Lihle Z Mtshali

Old Mutual will not be pursuing other buyers for its 77percent stake in general insurer Mutual & Federal after potential buyers withdrew from the sale process due to harsh economic conditions.

"While the process had reached an advanced stage, it was materially impacted by the difficult economic conditions, and following discussions with the short-listed bidders, the sale process has now been terminated," the insurer said yesterday.

Neill Young, portfolio manager at Coronation Fund Managers, said: "I think it's the right decision. It does indicate that they're not desperate to sell at any cost.

"In this kind of environment, it's very difficult to get it away at a price that's reasonable. But it does mean that potentially (Old Mutual's) capital position is still under pressure." - With Reuters