The drive to raise funds from selling off assets at Lloyds has continued, as the bank has agreed the sale of its Scottish Widows business. Aberdeen Asset Management will pay an initial £560 million in the form of 132 million shares; a 9.9% holding in the company. Depending on performance targets being met, a further £100 million in cash payable could also be paid, in five stages.
This move sees Aberdeen Asset Management increase its funds-under-management by £136 billion, taking its total to £340 billion. After the completion of this acquisition Aberdeen Asset Management will become the largest fund management firm in Europe.
The sale is yet another step that Lloyds Bank has taken to reorganise its portfolio of exposure. A consequence of this is that the bank’s core tier-one ration will be boosted, although at the end of the third quarter it already had a ratio of 9.9%.
It is likely that the government’s 33% stake has been a guiding hand in the banks drive to improve investor attractiveness with a firmer footing. It is also likely that this action will take the firm one step closer to being able to start repaying dividends.