Quilter shareholders to receive a windfall

Paul Feeney, the CEO of Quilter.
Paul Feeney, the CEO of Quilter.

Shareholders of former Old Mutual UK business, Quilter, will start 2020 on a high note as they are about to receive a £375m windfall (about R6.9bn), after the company finalised the sale of its life insurance business.

Quilter, which is dual listed on the JSE and the London Stock Exchange, has more than 60% of its shareholders in SA. It announced on Thursday morning that it has completed the sale of its life and pensions division, Quilter Life Assurance, for a total cash consideration of £445m (R8.2bn).

"After allowing for costs and the capital impact of the transaction together with other expenses associated with the sale, the board of Quilter considers the net surplus proceeds from the sale to be £375m and regards this sum to be excess capital which is available for return to shareholders, in full," said Quilter in a statement published on Thursday.

The company said the timing of payment to shareholders is yet to be determined. However, it will be "as soon as practical" but later than March 2020.

The sale of Quilter Life Assurance was aimed at making Quilter a "simpler, more focused wealth management business", said CEO, Paul Feeney, when he first announced the transaction in August last year. By running a leaner shop, Quilter, which separated from Old Mutual in 2018, said it would be able to create more value for its shareholders, as its capital will only be tied in the "faster growing" wealth management business going forward.

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