Standard Life in exclusive talks to buy Ignis

Standard Life has confirmed that it is in exclusive and advanced discussions with Phoenix Group Holdings regarding a potential acquisition of Ignis Asset Management.

“Discussions are on-going and there can be no certainty that any transaction will be agreed,” Standard Life added in an official statement.

Ignis has some £68bn in assets under management and it is currently owned by life assurance company the Phoenix Group.

The Phoenix Group said in a statement: “Following an approach from Standard Life plc, Phoenix Group Holdings confirms that it has entered into exclusive discussions with Standard Life plc, regarding a potential bid for Ignis Asset Management. Discussions are at an advanced stage but there is no certainty any transaction will be agreed.”

If the deal was concluded, it would make Standard Life one of the UK’s biggest investment managers.

Other firms interested in acquiring Ignis are Canadian banking group RBC and the Australian investment house Macquarie, according to report in the Sunday Times.

The news follows that of other M&A activities in the fund management industry across the UK. Aberdeen Asset Management is close to completing its £660m takeover of Scottish Widows Investment Partnership, while F&C Asset Management is being sold to Bank of Montreal in a £700m deal.

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