Thursday 17 January 2019

Lloyds sells remaining stake in Standard Life Aberdeen

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Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Lloyds Banking Group has announced that it has sold its remaining stake in Standard Life Aberdeen.

The sale represents approximately 3.3pc of the company’s issued ordinary share capital, at a price of 352.5 pence per share raising aggregate gross sale proceeds of £344m (€392m).

Lloyds is currently locked in arbitration with Standard Life Aberdeen over a large asset management mandate, and the sale is seen as a sign that relations between Lloyds and Standard Life are getting worse.

Last year Aberdeen and Standard Life merged with the aim of creating a $1 trillion money manager, a plan that has been dealt a blow by Lloyds decision to pull money from the firm.

Lloyds is withdrawing £109bn (€124bn), claiming that the merger created a competitor to its own insurance unit.

However Standard Life, which is exiting the insurance business, is arguing that Lloyds does not have the right to pull the money, though it suggests that there may be very little that it can do.

The arrangement between Lloyds and Standard Life Aberdeen is due to end by the first half of next year unless the decision is reversed, and was a legacy of Aberdeen’s acquisition of Scottish Widows Investment Partnership from Lloyds in 2013. This made Lloyds one of Aberdeen’s biggest shareholders, as well as being a competitor.

In a statement today Lloyds said that the sale of the stake in Standard Life had no impact on its income statement as the investment has been accounted for at fair value through other comprehensive income.

(Additional reporting from Bloomberg)

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