Abrdn mulls sale of £14bn private equity business

Abrdn CEO Stephen Bird

Edinburgh-based investment giant Abrdn is preparing to sell its private equity business as part of the current streamlining process taking place under CEO Stephen Bird, according to a Sky News report.

Investment bankers at Rothschild have been appointed to oversee the sale process of the unit, which manages roughly £14 billion in private equity assets, the report said.

Abrdn and Rothschild declined to comment.

A sale would represent the latest phase of a reshaping of Abrdn under Bird, who has outlined a strategy to simplify the company.

On May 30, Abrdn said it completed its £1.49 billion cash acquisition of Manchester-based Interactive Investor (ii), the UK’s second largest investment platform for private investors.

Abrdn called ii a “high growth, high margin business” which is expected to be “double-digit accretive to Abrdn’s adjusted earnings.”

Abrdn is due to announce half-year results on August 9, when, like other major asset managers, it may unveil a significant fall in assets under management due partly to the recent rout in global stock markets.