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Swip deal could see taxpayer own 10% Aberdeen stake
by Dylan Lobo on Oct 24, 2013 at 07:51
Swip, which controls around £140 billion, is expected to fetch between £400 and £500 million on the market and the news broadcaster said if Aberdeen can pull off a deal it could issue new shares to Lloyds.
With a market capitalisation of £5 billion the taxpayer could end up with a 10% stake in Aberdeen should it choose to fund the deal entirely through a new share issue.
The decision will largely depend on what Aberdeen chief executive Martin Gilbert (pictured) chooses to do with his firm's dividend policy.
Aberdeen has been building its surplus cash position for a number of years after holding fire on acquisitions and has started to be viewed as an income powerhouse. In the first half it raised its payout to 6p a share, an increase of 36% in the corresponding period of the previous year.
Lloyds has been looking for a buyer for Swip for some time in a bid to raise funds to get the government off its back and resume its dividend, which has been suspended since mid-2008 just before is disastrous acquisition of HBOS.
Last month the government sold a 6% stake in the lender for £3.2 billion, reducing its interest from 38.7% to 32.7%.
Insiders expect Swip to be sold before the year is out, although there is no guarantee it could end up in Aberdeen’s hands, with Australia’s Macquarie and Natixis Asset Management among those heavily linked with a bid.
In a recent feature, Wealth Manager cast an eye over six potential Swip suitors.
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