Abrdn to give shareholders proceeds of £264m sale

Edinburgh investment giant Abrdn confirmed on Friday that it sold 39.98 million of its 144 million shares in life and pensions consolidator Phoenix Group Holdings plc to institutional investors to raise £264 million.

Abrdn sold the Phoenix shares at £6.60 per share, a discount to Thursday’s closing price of around £6.85.

Abrdn said it intends to return the net proceeds of the placing to shareholders, with the method and timing of the return to be announced after the company’s results on March 1.

The shares sold represent 4% of Phoenix’s issued share capital.

Phoenix said: “Following the settlement of the transaction, Abrdn’s holding in Phoenix will be approximately 10.4% of Phoenix’s total issued share capital.

“Importantly, with Abrdn’s holding remaining in excess of 10%, the two parties’ Relationship Agreement will remain in place which entitles it to appoint a director to the Phoenix board.

“Abrdn continues to be Phoenix’s core strategic asset management partner and manages c.£165 billion of the group’s assets under administration.”

Abrdn CEO Stephen Bird said: “Our strategic partnership with Phoenix remains very important to us.

“This was further evidenced by the simplified and extended relationship we announced in February 2021.

We have therefore reconfirmed our commitment to our remaining 10.4% shareholding in Phoenix which retains our right to appoint a director to the Phoenix board.”

Phoenix’s other strategic investor, Japan’s MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings, Inc, continues to retain a 14.5% shareholding.