Abrdn confirms talks underway for £1.5bn Interactive Investor acquisition
FTSE 100 asset manager Abrdn has confirmed it is in talks to snap up Interactive Investor, the UK’s second-largest fund supermarket, in a £1.5bn deal that would represent its third major digital investment this year.
In a move that would represent another push into UK adviser and consumer markets by CEO Stephen Bird, who took the helm last September, the acquisition would add a business with more than 400,000 customers that manages around £55bn to Abrdn’s portfolio.
In a statement on London’s stock exchange this morning, Abrdn confirmed that it is currently in discussions with JC Flowers and Co, the private equity group that has owned a majority stake in Interactive Investor since 2016.
“There can be no certainty that these discussions will result in a transaction and a further announcement by the Company will be made as and when appropriate,” the asset manager said.
Meanwhile, DIY stock-picking platform Interactive Investor last night confirmed the discussions, but underlined this was just one option and did not rule out joining rival retail investment platforms Hargreaves Lansdown and AJ Bell on the London stock market with a public flotation.
“An IPO remains an attractive and possible outcome, and discussions around the process are also under way,” a spokesperson for Interactive Investor said.
If the takeover goes ahead, it would mark Bird’s most significant move yet as he prioritises Abrdn’s expansion into digital investment services, capitalising on the retail investing platform boom that began during the pandemic, as non-professional investors began trading stocks from the comfort of their own homes in massive numbers.
It would come hot on the heels of the firm’s acquisition of retail investing content platform Finimize, with its 1m daily newsletter subscribers and 40,000 paid content subscribers, at the end of last month.
Two months earlier, Abrdn acquired AI firm Exo so that it could offer wealth management via an app.
Formerly known as Standard Life Aberdeen, the asset manager changed its name to Abrdn at the beginning of July, in a rebrand that Bird said would provide “clarity” and make it “better-positioned to have impact at scale as a global business”.