Alexander Forbes, Africa’s largest independent retirement fund administrator, said shareholders would meet this week to decide on whether to pursue a trade sale or an initial public offering (IPO).

To sell shares on the JSE this year Alexander Forbes would have to announce its intention to list in the week starting on Monday, the chief executive, Edward Kieswetter, said yesterday. “Our shareholders have to make the choice. If we list, it will very likely be by the end of July.”

Alexander Forbes was delisted and bought by buyout companies, including Actis and Ethos Private Equity, for R8.2 billion in 2007. As the private equity owners prepared to exit, Deutsche Bank and Rand Merchant Bank were hired last year to advise on both a sale to a trade buyer and an IPO. The company’s preference shares value it at about R12bn.

“We’ve considered expressions of interest from a number of potential buyers, including local and foreign companies,” Kieswetter said, without giving more detail. “There have been deep due diligences done. We’ve also engaged with investment managers locally and overseas so that if we do a book build, it won’t be the first time they hear of it.”

The shareholders will meet on Friday.