Asset manager Abrdn has set its sights on snapping up DIY stock-picking platform Interactive Investor in a deal worth £1.5bn.
Reportedly Abrdn is being advised by bankers at JP Morgan and is in advanced discussions with JC Flowers and Co, the private equity group that has owned a majority stake in Interactive Investor since 2016. The FTSE 100 company, headed by Stephen Bird, revealed that it hopes to close the deal within a fortnight in comments made to Sky News.
Interactive Investors confirmed the news in a statement and said “discussions with Abrdn are ongoing.”
“There can be no certainty that these discussions will result in a transaction. An IPO remains an attractive and possible outcome, and discussions around the process are also under way,” the spokesperson added.
If the deal goes ahead Interactive Investor will end plans to join rival retail investment platforms Hargreaves Lansdown and AJ Bell on the London stock market with a public floatation.
The takeover is the latest sign that Abrdn, which manages £465.3bn in client assets, wants to expand into digital investment services.
The takeover would provide Abrdn with a retail investment platform that already has 400,000 customers and manages around £55bn in assets. In recent weeks Abrdn announced that it had purchased Finimize an online platform which provides tips to retail investors through a daily newsletter which goes out to 1m subscribers.
It comes after retail investment platforms experienced a boom during the pandemic as non-professional investors began trading stocks from the comfort of their own homes in massive numbers.
Abrdn shares are down 10.87 per cent this year to date and stood at 255.70p on Friday.