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AMP says bidding has started

Embattled financial services giant AMP says it is already getting enquiries for some of its lacklustre UK businesses.

Just weeks after announcing plans to demerge its Australasian and UK arms and confirming that it would test the market for its NPI and Ample brands, it revealed last week at its annual meeting in Australia that potential bidders have made approaches for Ample and IFA Towry Law.

There is speculation that a bid is being worked on by Resolution Partners, a company which was set up by former chief executive of GE Insurance Holding Clive Cowdery, with the involvement of a number of companies, including US buyout specialist KKR and private equity houses Warburg Pincus and Apax partners.

However, AMP points out that there is a big difference between approaches and a formal offer.

Cazalet Financial Consulting principal Ned Cazalet predicts that there will be a lot more action concerning AMP and he does not rule out bids for the company as a whole.

Wentworth Rose managing director Philip Rose says unless a buyer is found which is willing to invest new capital, the prospects for UK policyholders look grim.

Rose says: “I think it is still a gloomy outlook for policyholders with these funds unless there is a company that is going to inject some new capital and go back into an investment structure that has an open fund flow.”

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