Alexander Forbes had received expressions of interest from different parties interested in acquiring it, the financial services group said on Thursday. The group, which has been exploring an initial public offering (IPO), said in a regulatory filing that it would explore both options. Rand Merchant Bank and Deutsche Bank had been hired to manage the IPO, chief executive Edward Kieswetter said in September last year. Alexander Forbes was taken private in 2007 by a group of private equity investors led by London-based Actis and South African firm Ethos in an R8.8 billion deal. Other investors in the company are HabourVest Partners and two Canadian fund managers, Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board and Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec. Preference shares of Alexander Forbes, which offers retirement funds, financial planning and insurance, shot up 6.51 percent to close at R9 on the JSE, but the securities have still lost about half their value so far this year. – Reuters