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AMP wants buyer for its 50% Virgin Money stake

AMP is looking for a buyer for its 50 per cent stake in Virgin Money and admits that Towry Law is worth £40m less than it thought as the fallout from the review of its beleaguered UK business continues.

New group chief executive Andrew Mohl, who ordered the review of its UK operations, says he accepts that, with hindsight, the UK purchases by the Australian company could have been chosen better. Overall, it anticipates a £303m writedown of the UK business, including £219m for NPI.

Money Marketing recently revealed that AMP spent £135m to buy and keep Towry Law afloat last year.

AMP spokesman Stephen Hoffman would not comment on the new valuation of Towry Law but says: “With Virgin, we would look to achieve value from closure, joint venture, sale or restructuring. But it is early days yet.”

Virgin Money marketing manager Gordon Maw says: “This is not a surprise to us. The only option that AMP has is to sell its stake – it cannot close the business and this does not affect our business plans.”

Wentworth Rose managing director and former Towry director Tudor Taylor says: “AMP has been very poor at developing its businesses. Towry does not seem to be making money, it is not a driver in the UK market and it is providing very poor return on capital.”

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