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Decision close on Credit Suisse franchise sale

A decision on the sale of Credit Suisse’s £600m equity income franchise could be made within “weeks rather than months”, according to a source close to the deal. Aberdeen Asset Management is expected to agree a disposal of the business before acquiring Credit Suisse’s Global Investors division at the end of June.

Graham Ashby, the manager of the four funds and head of UK retail equities at Credit Suisse, declines to speculate on potential deals but says discussions are underway. “We are in the lap of the gods. I am aware that various conversations are going on, but you can never be sure what will come to fruition,” he says.

Ashby says he “pushed very hard” for Aberdeen to find a solution in which the existing process and funds could remain intact. Ashby declines to comment on suggestions that Premier Asset Management is his preferred bidder, although Fund Strategy understands the firm is among several interested parties.

Simon Weldon, managing director, sales and marketing at Premier, also declines to confirm interest but says the firm is “definitely in acquisition mode”. Weldon says the firm is working on three or four projects and is in a position to make purchases funded by the cash reserves of Electra, its private equity partner.

Aberdeen expects to acquire the rest of the Credit Suisse fund range, although some funds may be merged to achieve economies of scale. The first part of the acquisition – Credit Suisse’s Australian and Asian asset management businesses – is due to be completed this week.

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