Investors hold key to £11bn Stan Life-Aberdeen deal

Keith Skeoch, left, and Martin Gilbert, co-CEOs of Standard Life Aberdeen

Shareholders of Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management will vote on Monday on the proposed £11 billion merger of the two Scottish investment giants.

The transaction requires the support of at least 75% of Aberdeen shareholders and 50% of Standard Life investors.

The deal also faces routine regulatory scrutiny.

Standard Life shareholders would own 66.7% of the merged firm and Aberdeen shareholders would own 33.3%.

If the merger is approved by shareholders and regulators, it would create Europe’s second-biggest fund manager with roughly £670 billion under management.

The combined firm — to be named Standard Life Aberdeen — will be led by co-chief executives Keith Skeoch of Standard Life and Aberdeen’s Martin Gilbert.

David McCann, analyst at Numis Securities, told the UK’s Press Association he believed the deal would be approved by shareholders.

McCann said: “Future success in the active asset management industry will be determined by being big or small/boutique: you do not want to be stuck in the middle.

“We think the deal reflects Aberdeen and Standard Life choosing to be big.”

Prospects for investor approval of the deal were improved after two influential shareholder advisory groups, Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis, threw their weight behind the merger.

However, as well as institutional shareholders, Standard Life will also have to convince a sizeable number of retail investors, which comprise about half of its shareholder base.

Under the structure of the proposed deal, Standard Life would buy Aberdeen Asset Management for roughly £3.8 billion in an all-share transaction.