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Change of owner possible

Talks under way on sale of Alliance Trust Savings

Lord SmithAlliance Trust is in discussions with a number of bidders over a potential takeover of its savings business.

Parent company Alliance Trust said that while a sale may not happen, it was holding preliminary talks with potential new owners for the Alliance Trust Savings platform.

In a statement with the parent group’s half year statement, chairman Lord Smith (pictured) said:  “Over the period Alliance Trust Savings (ATS) has delivered an improvement in both customer service and operational performance.

“We have received a number of expressions of interest in ATS and are currently considering whether a change of ownership would be in the interests of Alliance Trust shareholders and ATS’ customers and staff.

“Discussions with interested parties, each of whom envisage maintaining or growing ATS’ presence in Dundee, are at an early stage and there can be no certainty that the Board of Alliance Trust will decide to sell ATS.”

During the period ATS saw growth of total assets under administration by 2.5% to £16.2bn (£15.8bn at December 2017), despite a small decrease in the number of customer accounts from 113,317 to 110,402.

ATS generated a profit of £23,000 compared to a £1.5m loss over the same period in 201, with improved financial performance through higher revenues and controlling costs.

The Alliance Trust board has declared a second interim dividend for the year of 3.389p per ordinary share payable on 1 October to shareholders on the register on 7 September: the ex-dividend date is 6 September. This is a 3% increase on last year.

Lord Smith added that the board has considered the impact of Brexit and believes that while this may lead to an element of market volatility, the global nature of the investments of the Trust are such that neither of these factors are specifically believed to increase the risk of investment underperformance over the long term.

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