Aitken Hume sells fund management concern: Troubled financial services group continues disposals

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The Independent Online
AITKEN HUME, the financial services and banking group, yesterday announced a conditional agreement for the sale of its wholly owned fund management subsidiary, AH Overseas Investments (AHOI), to Phoenix Home Life Mutual Insurance Company for dollars 40m.

The sale is the latest in a long line of disposals by the troubled institution, the last being the Guernsey- based financial services company Bachmann Group last year. Aitken Hume is controlled by Hong Kong and Arab interests, but was originally founded and run by the cousins Jonathan and Timothy Aitken.

A bid approach reported last November has failed to materialise. The shares fell back 1p yesterday to 59p

AHOI's only asset is the US mutual funds management company National Securities & Research Corporation (NSR). Under the deal Aitken Hume has agreed not to compete with Phoenix in the US mutual funds industry. The non-competition agreement is worth an extra dollars 5m on the sale price.

Another dollars 5.9m will be payable by Phoenix on completion of the deal to reflect the increase of the net asset value of NSR between September 30 1992 and the date of completion.

Phoenix will take over responsibility from Aitken Hume for the payment of certain liabilities to NSR employees amounting to dollars 3.3m, bringing the total consideration to dollars 54m. Of this, dollars 14.75m will be held in escrow pending settlement of outstanding issues.

Aitken Hume made pounds 2.3m in the year to 31 March 1992.