March 23 British life insurance and pensions
group Standard Life has announced it is in "exclusive and
advanced" talks to buy rival Phoenix Group Holdings'
Ignis Asset Management.
The Sunday Times newspaper had reported that Standard Life
was considering a 400 million pound ($660 million) offer for
Ignis, which manages fixed income, equity and real estate assets
of around 67 billion pounds. (link.reuters.com/xuz77v)
"Discussions are ongoing and there can be no certainty that
any transaction will be agreed. Standard Life Plc will make
further announcements if and when appropriate," Standard Life
said in a statement on Sunday.
Phoenix, which makes money by buying life insurers that are
closed to new customers and running them more efficiently, said
it would post an update on the deal when it reports its annual
results on March 26.
Neither company disclosed any financial details about the
The British government in Wednesday's budget relaxed rules
forcing pensioners to buy an annuity at retirement, potentially
making deals in the asset management industry more attractive to
Up to 15 billion pounds a year, by some estimates, could
find its way to the mutual fund industry.
A deal would significantly boost the size of Standard Life's
fund management arm, which has around 184 billion pounds under
($1 = 0.6063 British Pounds)
(Reporting by Richa Naidu in Bangalore and Chris Vellacott in
London; Editing by Kevin Liffey)