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Saturday, April 1, 1989
Staff gain from disinvestment

Staff of Minel insurance Brokers seem happy about the recent disinvestment by the UK shareholder. The move follows anti-SA pressure from St Paul Companies mc, Minet UK’s new US shareholder. It was a year ago that the purchase by St Paul of Minet Holdings plc of the UK was first mooted. Minet Holdings plc owned 50% of Minet SA.
At the time it was thought that sanctions pressures and the abolition of the US-SA double tax treaty would have a bearing. So local sources were expecting a disinvestment and were, indeed, looking forward to the prospect. In any event, the strong business links between Minet UK and its SA namesake will continue although it must only be a matter of time before even the local name must fall away.
Christopher Keey, deputy chairman of Minet Holdings plc, will remain on the board of Minet Holdings SA. Barry Jenkins, chief executive of Minet Holdings, retains his position on the Minet International board.
The firm will also continue to do placements into the London market as before. Syfrets’ Trust is to acquire the major slice of the UK shares. It is also buying out the 40% stake previously held by Ned- bank, so this will give it outright control with 75% of Minet Holdings SA. The balance of the equity will be bought by senior executives of the local firm, raising their stake from 10% to 25%.
Since Syfrets is a part of the overall Old Mutual financial conglomerate, the deal with Nedbank merely amounts to a switch within the group.
It is not yet clear why this switch is taking place. It could be that Nedbank is sensitive about the “conditional selling” aspect - that is where bankers may be accused of forcing borrowers to buy insurance to cover debt, for example. Many years ago Syfrets was a chief agent for Sun Alliance and it is perhaps a more appropriate vehicle for insurance broking business.
Says Malcolm Hutton, an executive director of Minet SA, “We are very happy with the deal that has been negotiated.” He added that existing shareholders “were bound by pre-emptive rights,” but could not elaborate further. Effective date of the deal is February 17th 1989.

Copyright © Insurance Times and Investments® Vol:2.4 1st April, 1989
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