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GAM denies takeover rumours

GAM denies takeover rumours

Troubled fund house GAM has denied being in negotiations to sell its business to Italian insurance company Generali, or any other firm.

A stock market announcement from GAM released yesterday (October 8) said: “Following press reports about a proposed deal with Generali, GAM can confirm that there are no discussions with the aforementioned company, or any other company, concerning M&A activity.

"As previously stated, the Board will always assess options to maximise value for shareholders and other stakeholders.

"With the appointment last month of Peter Sanderson as CEO, GAM is focused on simplifying the business and improving profitability.”

The announcement came after increased speculation of merger talks at the firm throughout the past year.

It came after a difficult year for the business in which it was forced to close a range of bond funds holding assets of £7.4bn.

This was due to concerns about the liquidity of the investments, the level of due diligence carried out on some of the investments, and the level of disclosure around the relationships between fund manager Tim Haywood and the issuer of the bonds.

There were nine bond funds in the range, and in the immediate aftermath of the company announcing the suspension of the manager in August 2018 £8.3bn left those funds. 

The funds were then closed, with the assets sold and cash returned to investors. 

Mr Haywood left his employment at GAM, as did chief executive Alexander Friedman. 

GAM’s share price has more than halved over the past year, dropping from £5.76 to to £2.71 in sterling terms.

The drop includes a 7.5 per cent fall since the announcement that no takeover talks are happening was made. 

david.thorpe@ft.com