UK Markets closed

M&G CEO says asset manager can go it alone amid takeover talk

FILE PHOTO: Illustration shows a smartphone with displayed M&G plc logo

By Sinchita Mitra and Iain Withers

LONDON (Reuters) -M&G's newly installed chief executive Andrea Rossi said on Thursday his asset management and insurance business was capable of boosting profits independently, and had no plans to engage with predators reportedly circling the company.

The firm was linked in a media report recently to a potential takeover bid by Australian investment bank Macquarie Group Ltd, amid growing speculation that asset managers may have to consolidate to compete in tough economic conditions.

Rossi told Reuters in an interview that he would not comment on "market speculation", but added that he was determined not to break apart the business.

"That's what our strategic priorities are, that's what our plan is," he said. "I think we have all the capabilities within each one of these business units in order for us to unleash profitable growth going forward."

M&G Plc reported a 28 billion pounds ($33.20 billion) drop in full-year assets under management in 2022 results on Thursday, as a global market rout last year curbed investor appetite for riskier assets.

Operating profit fell 27% to 529 million pounds, but this beat analyst forecasts after higher revenues than expected from the fund arm.

The company announced a final dividend of 13.4 pence per share, taking its total dividend for the year to 19.6 pence.

M&G shares were up 1.9% at 0909 GMT.

Sky News reported last week Macquarie Group Ltd was in the early stages of exploring a takeover bid of more than 5 billion pounds ($6.00 billion) for M&G, but had yet to make an approach to the company's board.

Macquarie chief executive Shemara Wikramanayake described the report as speculation at an industry event in Sydney on Tuesday.

($1 = 0.8434 pounds)

(Reporting by Sinchita Mitra in Bengaluru and Iain Withers in London; Editing by Sinead Cruise and Elaine Hardcastle)