Belfast Telegraph

Shareholders back £11bn Standard Life-Aberdeen merger deal

Shareholders have overwhelmingly backed an £11 billion tie-up between Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management.

More than 95% of investors at Aberdeen and 98% at Standard Life voted in favour of the deal during general meetings held on Monday.

The enlarged company, to be called Standard Life Aberdeen, will be headed up by Keith Skeoch and Aberdeen boss Martin Gilbert with a bumper 16-member board.

Simon Troughton, chairman of Aberdeen Asset Management, said the result was a "landmark" in the firm's history.

He said: "We are pleased with the overwhelming support Aberdeen shareholders have shown for the proposed merger.

"They recognise the strategic and financial rationale of the transaction which will create the UK's largest active asset manager and one of the top 25 globally.

"This deal opens up significant opportunities across all facets of Aberdeen's business and is an important step towards realising the company's ambition of creating a world-class investment business with a truly global footprint."

The deal also faces regulatory scrutiny, with the Competition and Markets Authority last month launching an investigation to ascertain if the tie-up could harm competition within the industry.

If it gets the green light, the merger will create Europe's second-biggest fund manager with £670 billion under management.

The merger, which was agreed 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.

Standard Life chairman Sir Gerry Grimstone said: "I'm delighted our shareholders have voted to support the merger today.

"Our merger with Aberdeen will be one of the most significant events in our near 200-year history, creating a well-diversified world-class investment company.

"There are still some approvals to be granted before the merger can complete and I know the teams in both companies are working through these diligently.

"We are still on track for a completion date of Monday 14 August and will keep our shareholders informed of developments."

Shares in Standard Life and Aberdeen were up 2% and 5% respectively in afternoon trading on the London Stock Exchange.

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