Old Mutual approves empowerment deal

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OLD Mutual Zimbabwe shareholders have approved the sale of 3,5% of the insurance group’s shares to a local consortium as the company complies with the country’s indigenisation and empowerment laws.

Tarisai Mandizha

Speaking at the company’s annual general meeting held in Harare on Tuesday, the group’s acting chairperson Leonard Tsumba said shares worth $13 million had been sold to Stiefel Investments — a consortium owned by former Old Mutual boss Luke Ngwerume and two independent directors Todd Moyo and Tracey Mutaviri.

Stiefel is an investment holding company and providers of advisory services, but are not limited to strategic, operational and risk management services.

This comes nearly two years after the government agreed to Old Mutual’s empowerment plan.

The company was one of the primary targets under the empowerment policy.

Under the country’s indigenisation and empowerment laws, foreign-owned companies operating in the country should sell at least a 51% stake to locals.

In 2011, the company made an agreement with former Empowerment minister Saviour Kasukuwere, which required loan financing to the tune of $12,7 million to be funded by the company through its mortgage-lending unit, CABS.

Meanwhile, Old Mutual Zimbabwe this week began trading part of the 25% shares worth $100 million allocated to various interest groups under the company’s indigenisation plan.

The group on Friday launched the Over-The-Counter (OTC) Trading Platform to facilitate the trading of the shares.

The company said clients eligible to trade on the Old Mutual OTC platform include Old Mutual Assurance Company Zimbabwe (OMLACZIM) client pensioners, pension funds that are clients of the OMLACZIM, strategic indigenous partners, employees of the Old Mutual Zimbabwe Group, Old Mutual Zimbabwe Group staff pensioners and any other persons or institutions that meet the indigenisation regulations criteria and are approved by the directors of Old Mutual.