Competition and Markets Authority launches ‘Standard Life Aberdeen’ monoploly probe

Keith Skeoch
Keith Skeoch

Edinburgh-based insurer Standard Life confirmed yesterday that it has filed an application with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) as part of the process of seeking regulatory and antitrust approvals for its proposed £3.8 billion takeover of Aberdeen Asset Management (AAM).

The UK’s competition watchdog has now launched an inquiry into the the all-share deal unveiled in March.

The CMA will now consider whether the combination of the two financial services firms into an £11 billion giant would lead to a “substantial lessening” of competition within their respective UK markets.

The amalgamated firms would control £660 billion worth of global assets and be in the top 25 largest fund groups globally.

The takeover of AAM would also see 800 jobs axed across the two firms’ current global workforces, documents published last week revealed.

A spokesman for Standard Life yesterday said: “Standard Life today filed an application with the CMA in respect of the proposed merger with Aberdeen Asset Management.

“This has triggered today’s announcement by the CMA that the standard phase 1 review of this application is now underway.

“This is one of a number of regulatory and antitrust approvals being sought as part of the merger process. Approval for the merger has already been granted by competition authorities in the US and Germany.”

Standard Life chief executive Keith Skeoch and his opposite number at AAM, Martin Gilbert, are poised to become joint CEOs of new company Standard Life Aberdeen.

AAM shareholders would own 33.3 per cent and Standard Life shareholders would own 66.7 of cent of the combined group should the deal get the green light.

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