RBS sells non-core fund operations to Aberdeen
LONDON (Reuters) - Royal Bank of Scotland said it agreed to sell non-core asset management businesses to fund firm Aberdeen as it attempts to recover from the bruising financial crisis.
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN.L) will pay 84.7 million pounds to acquire fund of hedge fund and multi-management businesses from the 84 percent state-owned bank.
"This transaction represents another step in our plan to restructure RBS (RBS.L) around its core customer franchises," Chief Financial Officer Bruce Van Saun said in a statement.
RBS is also looking to sell its 51 percent stake in commodities joint venture RBS Sempra and together with its partner Sempra Energy (SRE.N) has received bids from a trio of banks worth nearly $4 billion, according to sources..
Aberdeen is taking over 13.5 billion pounds worth of assets. A spokesman said that the 65-strong RBS teams at the divisions would be kept on as they offer expertise Aberdeen lacks.
Aberdeen said it would place about 84 million new shares, representing about 8.3 percent of its current share capital, to raise the cash it needs to fund the deal.
It is raising the full amount needed to take over the businesses in a 100 percent cash transaction, the spokesman said.
Aberdeen said it has also entered into a distribution agreement with RBS Wealth Management for a minimum of five years. The deal gives Aberdeen a sales route through RBS' private client franchise, including Coutts in the UK.
Analysts at Singer Capital Markets said they expected the deal, and particularly the Coutts link, to add about two to three percent to published earnings estimates.
Aberdeen said in a separate statement on Friday that it had assets totalling 144.1 billion pounds at December 31 2009, dampened by net outflows of 2.6 billion pounds during the group's first quarter.
The shares fell 3.82 percent by 8:53 a.m. while the FTSE 100 .FTSE was flat.
"Whilst the overall effect of net flows is negative in AuM terms, the fee mix has been advantageous," the company said.
It noted that inflows were strong into higher-margin equity products while outflows came largely from low-fee fixed income and money market products.
(Reporting by Cecilia Valente and Paul Hoskins; Editing by Matthew Scuffham, John Stonestreet)
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