Standard Life share price: Group seen poised to merge with Scottish Widows
Standard Life (LON:SL) could be poised to merge with rival Scottish Widows, The Sunday Times has revealed. The potential tie-up is linked to the FTSE 100 group’s upcoming tie-up with smaller London-listed peer Aberdeen Asset Management (LON:ADN).
Standard Life’s share price has been steady in London in today’s session, having climbed 0.59 percent to 391.60p as of 10:16 BST, largely in line with gains in the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.70 percent higher at 7,515.59 points. The group’s shares have added more than 27 percent to their value over the past year, and are up by some five percent in the year-to-date.
Senior City sources told The Sunday Times that talks about a possible deal between Standard Life and Scottish Widows were expected to begin this week. The newspaper notes that Lloyds Banking Group (LON:LLOY), which owns Widows, has been looking at options for the business for some time, being penalised for owning a life assurer under post-crisis regulations. The bailed-out lender has close ties with Aberdeen Asset Management, which bought Scottish Widows’ fund management arm in 2013. As a result of that deal, Lloyds holds a near 10-percent stake in Aberdeen.
Lloyds has already pledged its shares in support of Aberdeen’s tie-up with Standard Life unveiled earlier this year. Talks on any hypothetical deal, however, cannot start until after the shareholder votes at the companies, which are scheduled for today.
The news comes after Standard Life’s chief executive Keith Skeoch recently signalled that the company was open to the sale of its £16.1-billion annuity portfolio, but that it had no plans to exit its insurance business altogether after it merges with Aberdeen.
As of 10:52 BST, Monday, 19 June, Standard Life Plc share price is 391.60p.