Standard Life Aberdeen has begun buying back shares from investors after selling its life arm to Phoenix.
According to a stock exchange announcement this morning, SLA has purchased nearly 770,000 ordinary shares from Merrill Lynch International at an average price of 318p a share, costing SLA around £245m.
The announcement adds that SLA intends to cancel the shares.
Analysts had looked to potential share buybacks as a way for SLA to maintain its earnings per share as the fate of a £109bn fund management mandate with Scottish Widows remains in the balance.
A note from Jefferies noted the potential for SLA to use funds generated from the sale of Standard Life’s life arm to Phoenix in February for a buyback, but added that investors still lacked clarity over how those funds would be used when it produced its research in April.
The deal to exit the insurance market was valued at around £3bn, and was also seen as a way to quell competition concerns from Scottish Widows parent Lloyds Banking Group, which said that the merger of Standard Life with Aberdeen Asset Management now made the newly-combined firm a rival.
Lloyds announced its intention to pull key mandates in February.