Standard Life Investors Net £1.75bn Windfall
Shareholders in Standard Life are on course for a £1.75bn windfall from the insurance firm's sale of its Canadian interests.
Canada-based Manulife is to pay £2.2bn for the†long-term savings, retirement and insurance business on completion - expected early next year.
Standard Life said its board intended to return £1.75bn to investors, the equivalent of 73p per share, by way of a dual-share scheme that would allow shareholders to choose to receive the proceeds as capital or income.
The deal, which will also herald a global collaboration agreement with Manulife, is the latest in chief executive David Nish's turnaround plan.
The company said the agreements marked "another major step in furthering Standard Life's strategy to build a global investment solutions business" and accelerating the growth profile of the Group.
The collaboration, Standard Life said, would deepen its access to global markets for Standard Life Investments, with†Manulife†seeking to distribute its funds into Canada, the US and Asia.
It forecast a trebling of†total assets under management distributed by Manulife within three years.
Mr Nish said of the deals: "This transaction provides our Group and its shareholders with significant strategic and financial benefits.
"It accelerates our growth and reduces capital-intensity, while delivering substantial value today.
"The proposed capital return of £1.75bn , equivalent to 73p†per share, will take the total amount of dividends and returns to shareholders since 2010 to 147p†per share.
"We have transformed our Canadian operations into a business which has consistently delivered strong results, contributing to the overall success of the Group.
"As a result, the Canadian business is now a much more attractive proposition and the Sale allows us to realise fully the value of the business for our shareholders".
(c) Sky News 2014