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Standard Life Aberdeen merger cleared by watchdog

Standard Life Aberdeen merger cleared by watchdog

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has cleared Standard Life’s deal to acquire rival Aberdeen Asset Management, a deal that will create the UK’s biggest asset manager

The  £3.8bn deal was announced in March, and will create Europe’s second-largest fund manager, with more than £650bn under management.

The transaction is expected to be completed on 14 August after being cleared unconditionally by the CMA.

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The watchdog was considering whether the deal would "result in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the UK for goods or services", but confirmed today (22 June) that it will not be carrying out a more indepth investigation. 

Shareholders of both companies voted to approve the merger earlier this week.

Eight hundred jobs are expected to go following the deal, which will see the merged entity remain headquartered in Scotland.

The board will contain equal representation from both businesses, and more than £35m is being paid out in retention bonuses to keep top executive talent.

Earlier this week Aberdeen's vote on the merger saw 95 per cent of shareholders back the vote.

Chairman Simon Troughton said: "[Shareholders] recognise the strategic and financial rationale of the transaction which will create the UK’s largest active asset manager and one of the top 25 globally.

"This deal opens up significant opportunities across all facets of Aberdeen's business and is an important step towards realising the company's ambition of creating a world-class investment business with a truly global footprint.”

Meanwhile 99 per cent of Standard Life shareholders approved the deal.

Sir Gerry Grimstone, chairman of the insurance firm, said: "Our merger with Aberdeen will be one of the most significant events in our near-200 year history, creating a well-diversified world-class investment company."

The new entity's asset management business is to be called Aberdeen Standard Life Investments, in a departure from the style applied to the main company.

rosie.murray-west@ft.com