Aberdeen / Standard Life merger nears
Standard chief confident over shareholder vote
by Abi Moses on 26th May, 2017
The potential multi-billion pound merger between Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management looks a step closer today after Standard's chief executive claimed to be confident shareholders will approve the deal.
Keith , said "From everything I can see today, this deal is going to happen. There are always questions [from shareholders], but I wouldn't say having joint CEOs or the board's composition are the dominant issues. And the chairman has made it absolutely clear that over time the board will reduce in size. We haven't had any serious or sizeable shareholder push back, but I've learnt not to be complacent."
Mr continued by stating it is "abundantly clear" that both he and current Aberdeen chief, Martin Gilbert will be required if the new firm, Standard Life Aberdeen, are to "get things done."
With shareholders set to vote on the merger on June 19th, Aberdeen require 75% investor approval whilst Standard Life need 50%. With over 1.2m shareholders across the UK, Mr has admitted that Standard Life need to do more to engage with them before voting.
He said, "By and large, they are supportive, but we do need to do work to get the message out about the strategic logic of the deal and the financial benefits that follow for them as shareholders. There are some retail shareholders who are very engaged and very vocal, others less so."
Irrespective of the highly probable merger, both firms have made plans for life after Brexit. Aberdeen has a Luxembourg-based distribution company whilst Standard Life have announced plans to set up a new EU subsidiary in Dublin once the UK's Brexit negotiations are complete.
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