Aberdeen Asset Management share price jumps, despite denying reports it is for sale

 
James Nickerson
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Aberdeen Asset Management has had a tough time in emerging markets (Source: Getty)

Aberdeen Asset Management's share price jumped 3.9 per cent to 365.1p in mid-morning trading, amid reports the company is up for sale.

A report in the Financial Times yesterday suggested that the FTSE 100 company's founder and chief executive, Martin Gilbert, was looking for potential buyers in order to turn around its fortunes.

However, a senior source told City A.M. Gilbert is "nowhere near ready to hang his boots up. He's 60, he's as energetic and as committed as he's ever been".

Read more: Aberdeen Asset Management boss Martin Gilbert in it for the long hau

Some analysts suggested the rise was due to short-sellers who had bet on falls in the share price and are now looking to cover their position, according to Reuters.

"We believe that selling now would be an admission of failure, and that a potential buyer would clearly understand the challenges that Aberdeen is facing and reflect that in its determination of value for the company," in a note, RBC analyst Peter Lenardos said in a note.

He added: "We believe chief executives routinely meet with industry participants to discuss ways to maximise shareholder value, and that no formal sale process is underway.

If the company was to be bought at the moment, it would represent something of a bargain. Its stock has fallen nearly 25 per cent over the last six months as the company grapples with losses on bets in emerging markets such as China, where a large proportion of its investment portfolio is based.

Credit Suisse is the favourite to buy the firm, but Deutsche Bank is another contender, if reports by the Financial Times are correct.

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