Imperial Holdings CEO Mark Lamberti will push ahead with his plan to split the company next year unless South African political turmoil or a sovereign rating downgrade force a delay. The planned separation of the vehicles and transport businesses into two Johannesburg-listed entities "is taking up 30% of top management’s time", Lamberti said this week. Imperial would start the process in 2018, unless "the market goes to hell, then we obviously have to say the situation is not appropriate". Preparing Imperial for a split has been a main focus of Lamberti’s since he took the helm in 2014 and concluded that the company was made up of two distinct divisions without any operational overlap. The founder and former head of retailer Massmart has since reorganised Imperial through a series of disposals and acquisitions, and set up separate management teams. He planned to leave Imperial either at the time of the unbundling or, if that is delayed, after delivering full-year earnings figures in...

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