Stan Life Aberdeen shares slide amid debt proposal

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

Shares of Standard Life Aberdeen edged lower for a second day following its announcement that it plans a subordinated debt offering that “will be used for general corporate purposes” including the refinancing of existing debt.

Moody’s Investors Service said the debt issuance “is not expected to significantly impact the group’s financial leverage” in the medium term.

“Standard Life Aberdeen plc … issued an invitation to investors to attend a fixed income roadshow in London, Singapore and Hong Kong in respect of a proposed USD benchmark 30.5NC10.5 Tier 2 subordinated debt offering,” said Standard Life Aberdeen in a stock exchange statement.

“The roadshow and proposed subordinated debt offering is being undertaken as part of the company’s active capital management strategy and any proceeds raised will be used for general corporate purposes (including, without limitation, to refinance existing debt).”

Moody’s Investors Service assigned a Baa1(hyb) rating to the proposed US dollar-denominated Tier 2 subordinated bond.

Moody’s said: “The proposed Baa1(hyb) rating is consistent with Moody’s standard notching practices for debts issued by asset management companies, and reflects (i) the subordination of the bond and (ii) the optional and mandatory (based on breach of regulatory capital requirements) coupon deferral mechanisms and (iii) the cumulative nature of deferred coupons, in case of deferral.

“The bond is a dated, unsecured subordinated debt and ranks pari passu with existing dated unsecured subordinated debt of Standard Life Aberdeen …

“The issuance proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes (including refinancing).

“This issuance is not expected to significantly impact the group’s financial leverage in the medium term.”