Watchdog clears Standard Life’s £11bn Aberdeen Asset deal

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The UK competition watchdog has given the green light to the £11 billion merger of Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management (AAM).

The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) said today that it has decided not to refer the merger to an in-depth “phase 2 investigation”, paving the way for the deal’s completion in August.

The merged company will be headed by AAM boss Martin Gilbert, left, and Standard Life chief Keith Skeoch. Picture: Graham Flack

The merged company will be headed by AAM boss Martin Gilbert, left, and Standard Life chief Keith Skeoch. Picture: Graham Flack

• READ MORE: Standard Life plays down Widows talk as AAM deal approved

On Monday, shareholders overwhelmingly backed the tie-up, with more than 95 per cent of investors at AAM and 98 per cent at Edinburgh-based Standard Life voting in favour of the deal during general meetings.

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The enlarged company, to be called Standard Life Aberdeen, will be jointly headed up by Standard Life chief Keith Skeoch and AAM boss Martin Gilbert.

The merger will create Europe’s second-biggest fund manager, with £670bn under management.

The deal, announced in March, is targeting cost savings of £200 million a year, with around 800 jobs expected to be lost over a three-year period from a global workforce of 9,000.

• READ MORE: 800 jobs to go in Standard Life-Aberdeen Asset merger

In a joint statement, Standard Life and AAM said: “The transaction is currently expected to complete on 14 August 2017, subject to remaining regulatory approvals.”

Analysts at RBC Capital Markets said: “Today’s announcement by the CMA is as expected – if a little earlier than anticipated.

“We believe investors will continue to further appreciate the value, income and growth potential of the combined group as the proposed merger nears completion.”

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