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Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management shares soar following merger deal worth £3.8bn

Standard Life, Scotland’s largest insurer, agreed to acquire Aberdeen Asset Management for about £3.8bn, a deal which would create one of Europe’s biggest fund managers. Their stock soared.

Under the terms, Standard Life shareholders will own 66.7 per cent of the combined group, according to a joint statement on Monday. Aberdeen’s investors will receive 0.757 new Standard Life ordinary share for each share they already own. That values Aberdeen in line with its market value before the talks were disclosed 4 March.

The deal, which will create a £660bn asset manager, is the latest move by the active management industry to combat a tide of investors shifting money to low-cost, passive funds. Aberdeen, hurt by weaker sentiment toward emerging markets, has suffered more than three years of redemptions, leading chief executive Martin Gilbert to freeze salaries and cut costs to protect profitability.

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