Edinburgh-based investment giant Standard Life Aberdeen late on Friday announced the completion of the sale of Standard Life Assurance Limited to Phoenix Group Holdings for a total consideration of £3.28 billion.
The deal comprises a cash consideration of £2.28 billion and a shareholding of 19.98% in the enlarged Phoenix Group.
As part of the deal, Standard Life Aberdeen and Phoenix have also agreed to expand significantly their existing long-term strategic partnership.
Standard Life Aberdeen chairman Gerry Grimstone said: “This is a momentous day for Standard Life Aberdeen as we continue to build a world-class investment company.
“Corporate transformations of this scale require clear vision and huge commitment from all those involved.
“Maintaining continuity of service and enhancing optionality for all our customers and clients has been a key imperative.
“My very best wishes for the future to all our employees and customers who are transferring to Phoenix”.
Standard Life Aberdeen also confirmed its intention, subject to obtaining relevant regulatory permissions, to return up to £1.75 billion in aggregate to its shareholders.
“A share buyback of £175m has already commenced and £1.0 billion is intended to be returned to shareholders by way of a B share scheme (accompanied by a share consolidation),” said Standard Life Aberdeen.
“This would be followed by a further share buyback of up to £575m.
“Exact timings for the B share scheme and the consolidation, including the record time, will be notified to shareholders by way of a RNS announcement.”
Phoenix CEO Clive Bannister said: “I am delighted that we have completed the acquisition of Standard Life Assurance and I would like to extend a warm welcome to our new colleagues joining Phoenix.
“This deal will result in Phoenix becoming Europe’s largest consolidator of heritage life funds, and the ongoing strategic partnership with Standard Life Aberdeen plc will provide additional growth opportunities.
“This strategically and financially compelling transaction supports our vision to be Europe’s leading life consolidator.”
Phoenix also said Barry O’Dwyer and Campbell Fleming, both nominated by Standard Life Aberdeen plc, have been appointed non-executive directors of Phoenix.