Standard Life Aberdeen (LON:SLA) is in exclusive talks to buy Grant Thornton’s wealth advisory business, Sky News has revealed. The update comes after the FTSE 100 group recently suffered a massive shareholder revolt, with more than 40 percent of voters rejecting the group’s remuneration report at its annual general meeting last month.
Standard Life Aberdeen’s share price has been subdued in London in today’s session, having given up 0.51 percent to 272.10p as of 14:01 BST. The stock is underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.38 percent higher at 7,247.67 points. The group’s shares have given up more than a third of their value over the past year, as compared with about a six-percent fall in the Footsie.
Group eyes GT unit
Sky News reported yesterday that Standard Life Aberdeen’s financial advice arm 1825 had entered into exclusive negotiations to buy GT’s wealth advisory business for approximately £30 million. If completed, the deal would add about 100 employees to 1825, including a handful of partners and roughly 30 individual financial advisers (IFAs).
One City source told the newswire that GT’s management had decided to explore a sale of the IFA business to streamline its focus and distance itself from potential conflicts of interest. SLA’s 1825 unit has acquired a string of regional IFA businesses including London-based Baigrie Davies, Jones Sheridan in Crewe and The Munro Partnership in Scotland.
Analysts on SLA
The 15 analysts offering 12-month targets for the Standard Life Aberdeen share price for the Financial Times have a median target of 310.00p on the stock, with a high estimate of 480.00p and a low estimate of 215.00p. As of May 31, the consensus forecast amongst 16 polled investment analysts covering the blue-chip group has it that the company will outperform the market.