The chief executive of Intrinsic has said he is in high level discussions with several distribution businesses as he bids to grow his company’s advice arm.
Andy Thompson was speaking after rumours circulated that Intrinsic was in talks to buy Tenet.
He said: “As part of my role as chief executive of Intrinsic I am constantly looking for opportunities to grow distribution.
“I am currently talking at a high level to several distribution businesses and I have met Martin Greenwood, chief executive of Tenet, on many occasions.”
Mr Thompson did not say which other businesses he is engaged in talks with.
It is understood these talks with Mr Greenwood, which are at an early stage, could include deals between the two networks which grow Intrinsic’s distribution short of mounting a full takeover of Tenet - but could also include a sale.
Because of Tenet’s ownership structure a full buyout of the company could prove a complicated and time-consuming endeavour - and one which would not necessarily involve talking to its executive committee.
Since Aviva’s takeover of Friends Life the Norwich-based company has owned 47 per cent of Tenet while Standard Life and Aegon UK each own 23 per cent.
The remaining stake in the company is owned by a collection of individual shareholders including former executives.
This is the second time in less than a year that there have been rumours about the sale of Tenet, with reports in May that Aviva was looking to sell its 47 per cent stake in the business.
At the time TenetConnect managing director Mike O’Brien said this was “pure fantasy” but yesterday (20 January) he declined to comment, saying the company is constantly being linked with a sale.
Aegon UK also declined to comment on the latest rumours but in August the company’s chief executive Adrian Grace told FTAdviser he is not looking to sell his stakes in either Origen or Tenet - though he admitted he would not turn down a “shed load of cash” for either.