Saturday, 19 October, 2019

Phoenix pays Standard Life Aberdeen £3bn to enter the big league

Standard Life Aberdeen chairman plots exit amid £3bn Phoenix deal Phoenix pays Standard Life Aberdeen £3bn to enter the big league
Russell Knight | 23 February, 2018, 10:54

In its full-year results for 2017, outflows for its Aberdeen Standard Investments arm were £22.1bn, down from £26bn at the end of 2016, while net outflows from equity products reduced from £13.9bn to £8.2bn.

The transaction will free up cash for Standard Life Aberdeen to pursue M&A deals as part of its ambition to become a $1 trillion money manager at a time when that part of the businesses is struggling to stem outflows.

It added Phoenix Group life companies have committed to review the investment management mandates not now managed by Aberdeen Standard Investments, subject to normal commercial and governance constraints. We are not thinking to address this internally, ' he said. Co-Chief Executive Officer Martin Gilbert has said the firm wants to expand in the USA and Asia. For its part, Phoenix said it may raise about 950 million pounds through a rights offer to help finance the transaction. Barclays increased their price target on Standard Life Aberdeen from GBX 510 ($7.05) to GBX 520 ($7.18) and gave the stock an "overweight" rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 1st. restated a "buy" rating on shares of Standard Life Aberdeen in a research report on Thursday, November 9th.

The sale to Phoenix comes in the wake of failed talks between Standard Life Aberdeen and Lloyds Banking Group (LON:LLOY) which ended last week with the bank and its Scottish Widows life assurance business deciding to withdraw £109bn of assets under management from the fund manager due to competition concerns. That's nearly a fifth of the fund manager's total assets. "There is therefore some logic in focusing on one rather than the other".

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In addition, Standard Life Aberdeen has sold its insurance business Phoenix Group for £3.2bn, while it will also "significantly enhance and expand the existing long-term strategic partnership" meaning Standard Life Aberdeen would continue as Phoenix Group's long-term asset management partner for the acquired business.

Sky News has learnt that Sir Gerry Grimstone, who was the architect of last year's tie-up between Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management, will leave next year once a successor is in place. The assets had been managed by Aberdeen for several years.

Phoenix did not return a request for comment about the deal, which was first reported by Bloomberg.

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