Lloyds sells Standard Life Aberdeen stake amid spat

Lloyds Banking Group will sell its remaining 97.7 million shares in Standard Life Aberdeen, representing a 3.3% stake in the Edinburgh-based asset management giant, bookrunner Bank of America Merrill Lynch said late on Thursday.

Last month, Standard Life Aberdeen launched a contract dispute process against Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) over LBG’s decision to cancel a £109 billion asset management contract.

Based on Standard Life Aberdeen’s closing share price of 364p on Thursday, Lloyds stands to make roughly £350 million from the sale of the shares.

“The holding supported the partnership agreements that were previously in place with Standard Life Aberdeen, but given notice has been served for these agreements, and we are not a natural long-term holder of equities, we have now made the decision to sell the stake,” a Lloyds Banking Group spokesman told Reuters.

In a stock exchange statement, Bank of America Merrill Lynch said: “Announcement today of the launch of an accelerated bookbuilt offering by way of a placing to institutional investors of 97,678,570 existing ordinary shares in Standard Life Aberdeen plc (SLA) on behalf of Lloyds Banking Group.

“The placing shares represent approximately 3.3% of SLA’s issued share capital.

“Bookbuilding for the transaction will commence immediately.

“BofA Merrill Lynch is acting as sole bookrunner in connection with the transaction.

“The offer price per placing share and the final number of placing shares to be sold will be agreed at the close of the bookbuild process and the results of the transaction will be announced as soon as practicable thereafter.

“Settlement of the transaction is expected to take place on 12 June 2018.”