Alliance Trust Savings sold for £40m

Alliance Trust chairman Robert Smith

Dundee-based investment firm Alliance Trust said on Monday it agreed the sale of its subsidiary company Alliance Trust Savings (ATS) to Interactive Investor (ii), the UK’s second largest investment platform, for a total of £40 million.

The price includes Alliance Trust’s office building in Dundee, where ATS is based.

The Trust, which has been headquartered in Dundee since 1888, will continue to be based in Dundee.

As at June 30, 2018, ATS, which represents 1.3% of the Trust’s portfolio, had a fair value of £38 million and the Dundee building was valued at £4.9 million.

“The sale is another positive step in Alliance Trust’s strategy to focus on its global equity portfolio,” said Alliance Trust.

“This has previously seen Alliance Trust’s successful sale of its in-house investment management arm, Alliance Trust Investments, to Liontrust Investment Management, as well as the recent agreement to sell off most of the Trust’s private equity assets.

“The proceeds from the sale will be invested in the global equity portfolio, managed by Willis Towers Watson, which following completion will represent close to 100% of the Trust’s investment portfolio.”

Evercore is advising Alliance Trust and Rothschild is advising ii on the acquisition of ATS. The sale is subject to regulatory approval from the PRA and FCA.

Alliance Trust chairman Robert Smith said: “The board is pleased to announce the sale of ATS to Interactive Investor.

“The two businesses are highly complementary and ATS customers, many of whom are Alliance Trust shareholders, will benefit from Interactive Investor’s similar low flat-fee structure, as well as its increased scale and focus.

“A key consideration for the Board was a commitment to maintaining ATS’ presence in Scotland.

“We are therefore very pleased that ii plans to invest in ATS’ Dundee operating centre.”

Richard Wilson, CEO of ii, said: “This is another important step in our ambition to build the UK’s best investment platform.

“The acquisition brings together the country’s two largest fixed price providers, adding significant scale to ii, and reinforcing our ability to deliver excellent choice, value and service to all our customers.”