Acquisition looming

Abrdn in £1.5bn talks with Interactive Investor


Abrdn has built up a war chest for acquisitions (pic: Terry Murden)

Wealth manager Abrdn, formerly Standard Life Aberdeen, is in talks to acquire online broker Interactive Investor as the Edinburgh-based business takes a further step into the private investor market.

The companies have confirmed discussions are taking place but did not disclose a price, though sources are indicating a deal in the region of £1.5 billion.

The companies are still discussing terms, and the talks could collapse without an agreement.

A deal would give Abrdn, the FTSE-100 asset manager, control of one of Britain’s three big DIY stock-picking platforms and would represent another bold move by CEO Stephen Bird since he took over in the summer of 2020 and began refocusing the company.

Stephen Bird

Stephen Bird: refocusing the company

He wants to diversify its revenue base across three areas: investment, adviser and personal.

Last month, Abrdn swooped on Finimize, a subscription-based investment tips service.

Abrdn is expected to make a statement to the London Stock Exchange on Monday about its talks with Interactive Investor, according to Sky News.

Interactive Investor is majority owned by private equity firm JC Flowers and Co and has been emerging as a rival to Hargreaves Lansdown and AJ Bell. It was considering a flotation next year.

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