Standard Life and Scottish Widows 'in merger talks'

Added 19th June 2017

Edinburgh life and pension rivals Standard Life and Scottish Widows are reportedly in merger talks, with an agreement potentially following swiftly on the heels of Standard Life’s £11bn deal with Aberdeen Asset Management.

Standard Life and Scottish Widows 'in merger talks'

Lloyds Banking Group, which owns Scottish Widows, has reportedly been seeking a buyer for the business for a while, according to The Sunday Times.

Talks about a possible deal are expected to begin this week, senior City sources told the newspaper.

Both companies have declined to comment.

Aberdeen agreement

First announced in March, Standard Life and Aberdeen’s merger was overwhelming approved by shareholders on Monday.

The £11bn ($14.1bn, €12.6bn) deal needed the support of 75% of Aberdeen’s investors and 50% of Standard Life’s.

More than 95% of Aberdeen and 98% of Standard Life shareholders voted in favour of the merger, which will be named Standard Life Aberdeen.

Following completion of the deal, which is expected in mid-August, Standard Life shareholders will own 66.7% of the combined group, while Aberdeen shareholders own 33.3%.

This reflects Aberdeen's £3.8bn market capitalisation and Standard Life's £7.5bn value. 

The combined company will be run by co-chief executives Martin Gilbert (Aberdeen) and Keith Skeoch (Standard Life).

Evolution

At an analyst and investor conference when the deal with Aberdeen was announced, Skeoch was asked whether Standard Life was moving away from life assurance and towards becoming an investment house, reports The Scotsman.

He said: “We are – yes, you are right in terms of becoming more of a world-class investment company than a life assurer. I would argue this is a process that was put in place about 13 years ago.”

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Kirsten Hastings

Senior Reporter

Kirsten is a senior reporter for International Adviser, covering global news stories about the financial services industry. She joined Last Word Media in October 2015 after two years working as a reporter covering the staffing and recruitment industry. Kirsten has a Masters in Financial Journalism from the University of Stirling. 

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