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Abrdn in talks to sell private equity unit to Santander

Deal reported to be priced at around £250m.
A firm handshake says a lot

Abrdn is reportedly in talks with Spanish banking group Santander over a sale of its private equity unit.

The FTSE-100 asset management heavyweight has received interest from ‘a small number of buyers’, according to Sky News.

The unit is being valued at around £250m ($300.5m) according to the reports, and a deal could be signed off within the next two months.

The division was formerly a part of Standard Life Investments, which merged with Aberdeen Asset Management in 2017 before the company rebranded to Abrdn.

The firm has endured a difficult period, with its share price sliding from over 400p in 2018 to just 216p today, 20 February. It was briefly demoted to the FTSE 250 last year, before returning to the top tier.

Under the leadership of chief executive Stephen Bird, Abrdn is attempting to refocus on its strongest markets and shed ‘non-core’ divisions in order to get the share price moving in the right direction again.

Recent weeks have seen a spate of funds shut down or merged, with more in the pipeline.

Last year Abrdn spent £1.5bn on acquiring investment platform Interactive Investor as it increased its targeting of retail investors.

Abrdn will publish its full year results on 28 February.

This story first appeared on our sister publication, Portfolio Adviser.

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