UK/SWEDEN – Swedish pension insurance company Alecta (formerly SPP) is selling its property management firm, Celexa Group, to Aberdeen Asset Management.
In the deal, worth an estimated £16.5m (e26.8m), Aberdeen is to buy the entire share capital of Celexa’s Swedish, UK and Dutch real estate operations.

The Celexa group manages property assets valued at SEK27bn (e3m), of which 90% are Scandinavian, UK, Dutch and German mandates.
Together with a number of Dutch pension funds the group also runs the Celogix co-investment fund.
“This deal is a further step in the concentration and focusing of our business. Aberdeen is better suited than Alecta to continually develop the Celexa companies and will therefore give the Celexa staff better prospects. For Alecta as a client Aberdeen will be a very competitive business partner,” says Lars Otterbeck, managing director of Alecta.

The move almost doubles Aberdeen’s property assets managed by subsidiary, Aberdeen Property Investors, from £2.3bn to £4.2bn.

“Celexa provides us with an excellent international platform to exploit our expertise in the emerging European property asset management market. With a combined total of over £4bn under management we are now a significant force in the European region,” says Iain Reid, chef executive of Aberdeen Property Investors.

Aberdeen is issuing 2.9m new ordinary shares, worth around £15.1m, to Alecta along with £1.4m in cash for the deal.
Upon completion of the acquisition, expected in May, the Celexa group will enter into new property management agreements with Alecta that will provide for initial contract periods of 30 months for Celexa Sweden and 24 months in the case of Celexa UK and Celexa Netherlands.

In a separate move, Aberdeen Asset Management is becoming the sole manager for £5.5bn in investment funds of Life Assurance Holding Company (LAHC) and its subsidiary Windsor Life Assurance Company.
Aberdeen will also acquire LAHC Group’s associated investment management activities.
For the deal the group will issue 15m new ordinary shares (9.7% of its existing stock capital) and loan notes to the value of £10m to Life Assurance, totalling about £86m.

“The agreement will secure the Windsor Life policyholders’ position through a long term relationship with a top performing investment manager. It will enable us to build on our past record of obtaining superior long-term results for policyholders,” says John Wybrew, managing director of LAHC.