UK regulator to end further probe into Standard Life-Aberdeen Asset Management merger

The UK competition watchdog said it will not further investigate the proposed merger between Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management.

After announcing that it was launching an inquiry into the takeover last month, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said today it will not undertake a more in-depth phase two investigation.

The watchdog was considering the likelihood of of the deal resulting ''in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services".

In a statement, the two firms said, "Standard Life and Aberdeen note the announcement today by the CMA that it has completed its review of their proposed merger and has cleared the transaction unconditionally."

The announcement comes after shareholders of both companies voted to approve the merger earlier this week.

Standard Life, which announced its £3.8-billion takeover deal for Aberdeen in March, revealed that 98.6 per cent of votes went in favour of the merger. Also as part of the deal it won 94.6 per cent approval for the directors' remuneration policy.

At Aberdeen, the proposed tie-up received 95.8 per cent of votes, while approval for executive pay was by 78.6 per cent approved the exec pay motion.

The enlarged company, Standard Life Aberdeen, as it will be known, will be jointly headed by Standard Life chief Keith Skeoch and AAM boss Martin Gilbert.

The deal, announced in March, was targeting cost savings of £200 million a year, and about 800 jobs may be lost over a three-year period from a global workforce of 9,000.

In a joint statement, Standard Life and AAM said: ''The transaction is currently expected to complete on 14 August 2017, subject to remaining regulatory approvals.''