UPDATE 1-Australia’s AMP says Ares pulls buyout offer

(Adds context on deal, results)

Feb 11 (Reuters) – AMP Ltd said on Thursday Ares Management had withdrawn its buyout offer for the Australian wealth manager, which posted a 32% fall in annual profit on heavy cash outflow from its flagship fund arm.

Ares had approached AMP last year after the Australian firm announced a portfolio review, sparking talks of a potential sale or break-up of the company that has been plagued by years of scandals.

AMP said it would continue to hold talks with Ares regarding AMP Capital as part of the review, while also exploring other options for the fund managing unit.

The company said it was “committed” to resuming dividend payments this year, even as underlying profit for 2020 fell to A$295 million ($227.77 million) from A$439 million a year ago.

Net cash outflows at AMP Australia rose almost 32% to A$8.3 billion due to concerns around coronavirus-induced market pressure and internal governance.

AMP’s reputation has been hit since a public inquiry in the financial sector in 2018 exposed systemic wrongdoing at the company, and later by allegations of inappropriate conduct towards a female employee by a senior manager.

$1 = 1.2952 Australian dollars Reporting by Anushka Trivedi and Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.

source: reuters.com