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IPE special report May 2018

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Job cuts inevitable as Aberdeen buys EFM

UK – Aberdeen Asset Management has confirmed that it is buying Edinburgh Fund Managers for 36 million pounds (51.8 million euros).

The two parties announced the completion of the sale today. Commenting on the acquisition of EFM, Martin Gilbert, chief executive of Aberdeen said: “It will consolidate the combined group’s position in the fund management industry and it will reassert the importance of independent third party asset management.”

A spokeswoman for EFM said that redundancies would be “inevitable”, although there were no further details at the moment. EFM’s executive directors, Anne Richards and Rod MacRae, will be offered senior management roles in the enlarged group.

Aberdeen’s directors say the acquisition will “strengthen the institutional equity and fixed income asset management business and investment management team of the Aberdeen Group, and create a stronger independent Scottish fund management business”.

Aberdeen is also not ruling out further acquisitions, and says that the deal will “provide Aberdeen with a stronger platform for future expansion in a consolidating market.”

Charles Nunneley, chairman of EFM said that the sale represented “a satisfactory outcome” after “a period of uncertainty”.

Also today, the sale of EFM’s 900 million pounds (1.3 billion euros) of retail funds to New Star Asset Management for 33 million pounds (47.5 million euros) was confirmed.

The sale to New Star formed part of the deal with Aberdeen. The proceeds will be used by Aberdeen to reduce gearing and fund additional pension contributions of nine million pounds to EFM’s defined benefit scheme. Aberdeen also sold a number of its own retail funds to New Star in January.

The addition of Edinburgh’s 3.2 billion pounds (4.6 billion euros) of institutional assets takes Aberdeen’s total assets under management to almost 25 billion pounds (36 billion euros).

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