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Alexander Forbes Shares Soar After Reporting Takeover Interest

Alexander Forbes Ltd., Africa’s largest independent retirement-fund administrator, climbed the most in 21 months after saying it was weighing expressions of interest to buy the company alongside plans for a share sale.

The company recently “received expressions of interest from several parties to acquire the Group,” Johannesburg-based Alexander Forbes said today in a statement. The firm’s executive will “formally explore these expressions of interest whilst still progressing with the possible IPO,” it said.

Actis LLP, which led an 8.2 billion-rand ($782 million) buyout of the firm in 2007, said in September that it would prefer to sell its stake in Alexander Forbes to another company rather than an initial public offering. Alexander Forbes hired Deutsche Bank and Rand Merchant Bank last year to advise on an IPO, which would probably take place after June this year, Chief Executive Officer Edward Kieswetter has said.

Alexander Forbes shares climbed 6.5 percent to 900 rand by the close of trading in Johannesburg, the biggest gain since July 9, 2012.

Actis’s Africa head John van Wyk said in September that a “strategic sale” would probably lead to better pricing. Ethos Private Equity Ltd., Canadian fund managers Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec and the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan were also involved in the buyout.

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