Alexander Forbes Shares Climb as Johannesburg Trading Begins

Alexander Forbes Group Holdings Ltd., Africa’s largest independent retirement-fund administrator, surged on its first day of trading.

Alexander Forbes jumped 12 percent to 8.41 rand by the close in Johannesburg with 46.5 million shares changing hands, the most of any stock on the exchange. That gave the company a market value of 11 billion rand ($1.04 billion) after it sold shares at 7.50 rand in its initial public offering.

“The listing is a great outcome because it gives the opportunity for continuity of the work done,” Chief Executive Officer Edward Kieswetter told reporters at the JSE today.

The share sale was Johannesburg’s largest listing in almost four years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. A group of private-equity investors, including Actis LLP, paid 8.2 billion rand for Alexander Forbes in 2007. With the buyout firms ready to exit, Alexander Forbes opted for a listing and a partial sale of 34 percent to Marsh & McLennan Cos’s Mercer unit which will be an anchor investor, according to Kieswetter.

Alexander Forbes’ permanent employees were each given shares which will vest after three years, Kieswetter said.

The listing is the 11th this year on Africa’s biggest bourse, JSE CEO Nicky Newton-King said at the same event.

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