Standard Life is reported to be gearing up to enter talks about a potential merger with Scottish Widows, as shareholders vote today on its deal with Aberdeen Asset Management.
The Sunday Times has reported discussions between Standard Life and Scottish Widows will begin this week, citing the group's prospectus for the Aberdeen deal.
The combined business will be co-led by Aberdeen's CEO Martin Gilbert and Standard Life's chief executive Keith Skeoch.
Aberdeen, which announced it was merging with Standard Life in March, has a close relationship with Scottish Widows' parent company Lloyds Banking Group.
The firm bought the Scottish Widows Investment Partnership (SWIP) business back in 2013, formerly owned by Lloyds, while the bank has a 10% stake in Aberdeen.
In the prospectus on the merger earlier this year, the groups stated that the new combined firm would have discussions on its strategic partnership with Lloyds.
According to The Times, Lloyds had given Aberdeen and Standard Life six months to close the deal and waived a change of control clause, which would have allowed it to reclaim the Scottish Widows business from Aberdeen.
However, the paper reports no talks can begin until shareholders vote on Standard Life's merger with Aberdeen.
The deal, which is set to create an asset management giant named Standard Life Aberdeen, will be voted on by shareholders today and, subject to shareholder approval, is expected to be completed by August.
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