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Standard Life sells SimplyBiz stake

SimplyBiz management team buys stake for undisclosed sum.

Standard Life has sold its 10 per cent stake in support services company SimplyBiz.

The SimplyBiz management team has bought the stake first acquired by Standard Life in October 2006. SimplyBiz has not disclosed what it paid for the stake.

SimplyBiz chairman Ken Davy says: “Our seven-year relationship with Standard Life as minority shareholders worked well for both parties. However, we are pleased to be in a position where we are able to buy back these shares so that we can focus on building the business independently of any product provider ownership.

“I am sure this will be well received by the firms we serve and we look forward to continuing to grow our business”.

The remaining 90 per cent of the firm is owned by SimplyBiz directors with chairman Ken Davy owning in excess of 80 per cent of the firm.

In May it emerged that Standard Life was in talks with SimplyBiz over the sale.

Standard also owns 100 per cent of support services firm Threesixty Services. Standard was unavailable to comment on the SimplyBiz deal.

Capital Asset Management chief executive Alan Smith says: “Product providers have in the past invested in distributors and nationals in the hope of influencing distribution, but given the recent messaging from the regulator regarding inducements, companies now have to look at deals on a purely commercial basis. This is another example of providers recognising that there could be a conflict of interest in owning stakes in distributors.”

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