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Old Mutual sells a further 15 pct of U.S. fund arm

LONDON, May 16 (Reuters) - Anglo-South African financial services firm Old Mutual (Other OTC: ODMUF - news) is selling 17 million shares in U.S. fund firm Old Mutual Asset Management (OMAM), it said on Tuesday, cutting its minority stake in the firm by a further 15 percent.

Old Mutual has said it plans to break itself up into four parts by the end of next year and is selling its OMAM stake as part of that process.

Old Mutual is selling 17.3 million shares in OMAM in a secondary offering at $14.55 per share, it said in a statement.

OMAM is also buying back 5 million Old Mutual shares, Old Mutual (Taiwan OTC: 6407.TWO - news) added.

Old Mutual sold a 25 percent stake in OMAM to China's HNA (Shanghai: 600221.SS - news) in March for $446 million.

The share offering, buyback and sale to HNA will together cut Old Mutual's stake in OMAM to around 7.5 percent, an Old Mutual spokesman said.

Morgan Stanley (Xetra: 885836 - news) is the sole bookrunner of the offering, which closes on May 19.

The bank has the option to buy a further 2.6 million OMAM shares, which would reduce Old Mutual's stake to around 5 percent, the spokesman added.

Problems with tech upgrades at Old Mutual's UK fund management arm have overshadowed the break-up plans.

Old Mutual Wealth switched providers for an IT system earlier this month, saying the change did not affect the plans. (Reporting by Carolyn Cohn; Editing by Mark Potter)