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Report: Old Mutual weighing sale of China, Latin America units

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Report: Old Mutual weighing sale of China, Latin America units

Anglo-South African financial group Old Mutual Plc could sell its subsidiaries in China, Mexico, Colombia and Uruguay as part of the planned breakup of its four units, Group CEO Bruce Hemphill told Reuters.

"The idea is to be focused on Africa," Hemphill reportedly said, adding that while the group is willing to sell its relatively small China and Latin America businesses, it was not a "forced seller" of the units.

Hemphill also said the group is exploring all options for Old Mutual Global Investors (UK) Ltd. and is looking at potential industry and private equity buyers for the business.

The future of Old Mutual Global Investors, led by Richard Buxton, was thrown into question in September after Old Mutual Wealth split its fund management business into two, choosing to focus on the multiasset business led by Paul Simpson. Old Mutual Wealth said it is assessing "internal and external structures" for the division, which now focuses on the single strategy business, to "continue to develop it further."

Potential buyers for Old Mutual Global Investors had until the end of the week of Sept. 25 to table tentative bids, "sources familiar with the matter" told the newswire.

One source said the group is aiming to fetch at least £500 million for Old Mutual Global Investors, while another source said the division attracted bids from private equity firms including Hellman & Friedman LLC and TA Associates, Reuters added.

Meanwhile, Old Mutual is also yet to decide whether or not to fire auditing firm KPMG, which is embroiled in a scandal involving friends of South African President Jacob Zuma.

Hemphill said the group will wait for KPMG to complete its internal probe into the matter before making a decision.