Osmond set for lesser role

David Hellier
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HUGH Osmond&rsquo;s role at Pearl Assurance, the highly-indebted insurance group, will be the subject of intense debate over the next few days as banks and shareholders close in on a refinancing deal.<br /><br />The banks have made it a condition of the deal that Osmond&rsquo;s influence on the company is reduced, City A.M. has learned.<br /><br />In particular they want certain arrangements, whereby key decisions can only be taken with his approval, terminated.<br /><br />The restructuring deal, if it goes ahead as planned, will see the shareholding of Osmond and fellow founder shareholder TDR come down from 100 per cent to around 30 per cent. Given thst Osmond will own a much reduced stake, it would be no surprise if his influence is curbed.<br /><br />Liberty, a special purpose vehicle headed by Nicolas Berggruen, will assume a 60 per cent stake in return for an injection of &pound;500m in equity and the banks will take a 10 per cent stake in return for writing off around &pound;400m of their &pound;3bn loans.<br /><br />Currently six people from Osmond&rsquo;s group Sun Capital and three people from TDR have an involvement in the management of Pearl, whose chief executive is Jonathan Moss.