Aberdeen on the hunt for buyer

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Aberdeen Asset Management has started to sound out potential buyers to turn around outflows and a drop in profitability.

The Financial Times reports that Aberdeen founder and chief executive Martin Gilbert had made informal approaches to several rivals over recent months.

Gilbert declined to comment, while a spokesperson for Aberdeen denied that anyone has been approached to buy the business.

The spokesperson says: “In his 32 years running Aberdeen, Martin Gilbert has never approached anyone, formally or informally, about buying the business.”

The fund group’s share price has fallen 25 per cent over the past six months, and Aberdeen saw net outflows of almost £10bn to the end of June. Total assets are £307bn.

One source told the newspaper: “I have heard the [sale] rumours. Martin is of the age where he needs to find a successor, and there is no one [appropriate] within the business today.

“Aberdeen has a huge Asian equity market problem, [and has experienced] a huge amount of outflows. They don’t want to wait that out for three years as there is probably only one direction it will go, and that is down.”

Private equity groups have been suggested as possible buyers, as well as investment banks such as Credit Suisse.