Interactive Investor

interactive investor announces proposed acquisition by abrdn

2nd December 2021 11:03

Jemma Jackson from interactive investor

ii will operate as a standalone business and independent brand within abrdn.

Interactive Investor (“interactive investor”, “ii” or “the Company”) announces today that it is to be acquired by abrdn plc (“abrdn”), one of the largest European investment and wealth managers with £532bn of assets under management globally.

The transaction will see abrdn acquire 100% of the ordinary share capital of the holding company of ii from its shareholders, including majority shareholder JC Flowers IV L.P. (a fund advised by JC Flowers), for total consideration of £1.49 billion, subject to a locked box adjustment and a regulatory capital adjustment.

This transaction represents a key milestone in ii’s evolution and will drive the next phase of growth, building on ii’s position as the UK’s second largest DIY investment platform, with assets under administration approaching £55bn across over 400,000 customers.

ii will remain a consumer-driven, digital, open architecture investment platform and will continue to offer its transparent and innovative subscription service with fair flat fees for customers. The company will continue to champion the retail investor. Following the transaction, ii is expected to benefit from access to the strength and depth of abrdn’s advice, research and wealth management capabilities. ii will also continue to operate on its existing strong technology platform post-transaction.

ii will operate as a standalone business and independent brand within abrdn and Richard Wilson will continue to lead ii through the next phase of its development, under abrdn’s ownership.

abrdn is highly supportive of ii’s ethos as a consumer champion in direct investing, which has positively differentiated ii in the market and is considered core to the Company’s future success. For example, the Company will continue to lobby for enhanced retail access to IPOs under abrdn’s ownership.

The transaction is subject to receipt of customary regulatory and anti-trust approvals, as well as abrdn shareholder approval. It is currently expected that the transaction will complete in the second quarter of 2022.

Richard Wilson, CEO of interactive investor, says:  This is an exciting new chapter in our history and means that we can focus exclusively on serving those who matter most: our customers. We will have access to abrdn’s additional capabilities across research, advice and wealth management services, and we will benefit from being part of one of Europe’s largest investment and wealth management firms, with a vision and values closely aligned to our own. 

“Our management will remain the same, and the same extraordinary team will continually develop our service and technology, while maintaining our subscription pricing, our whole of market choice and the same campaigning spirit and editorial independence.

Stephen Bird, Chief Executive Officer of abrdn, commented: “This is a unique opportunity and a transformative step in delivering our growth strategy. interactive investor is the UK’s number one subscription-based investing platform with a powerful reputation as a consumer champion. abrdn’s scale, resources and shared vision will enable interactive investor to grow confidently and expand its leadership position in the UK’s attractive savings and wealth market.

I’m delighted that Richard and his team will continue to lead interactive investor.” 

Tim Hanford, Co-President of JC Flowers and Managing Director of JC Flowers Europe, commented: “Over the last five years it has been a privilege to work with Richard, his exceptional team and an outstanding board in order to deliver on the company’s growth ambitions. Our shared vision has seen ii go from strength to strength through a combination of strategic repositioning, dynamic underlying organic growth in customers and well executed M&A. During our partnership ii has been an outstanding performer for JCF and other shareholders, and we are confident that this performance will continue through the combination announced today with abrdn and ii having the opportunity to grow together through the creation of an incredible customer proposition. We wish Richard and the team every success in this next stage of the company’s journey.”

interactive investor is being advised by Fenchurch Advisory Partners (joint financial adviser), UBS Investment Bank (joint financial adviser) and Taylor Wessing (Legal Adviser).

To view a joint video discussion with Richard Wilson and Stephen Bird, please see here.

Notes to editors

About interactive investor ii is the UK's number one flat-fee investment platform, offering ISA, SIPP, Junior ISA and general investing accounts, plus leading investment content, tools, choice and service. Customers pay a flat monthly fee, even as their investments grow, meaning they keep more of their money.

ii has £55 billion of AUA and over 400,000 customers and has a strong track record of acquiring, integrating and investing in complementary platform businesses, having completed the acquisition of TD Direct Investing in 2017, Alliance Trust Savings in 2019, and Share plc in 2020. The latest acquisition was the EQi book of customers in 2021.

ii is majority-owned by funds adviser by JC Flowers which became a majority shareholder in 2017 as part of the acquisition of TD Direct Investing. 

ii is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and FSCS protected.

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About abrdn

At abrdn, we empower our clients to plan, save and invest for their futures. 

We structure our business into three areas – and together they reflect our focus on enabling our clients to be better investors:

  • Investments: We work with clients to create solutions across markets, asset classes and investment strategies – combining our global network of investment professionals with research, data and technology.
  • Adviser: We offer market-leading platform technology and tools that enable UK wealth managers and financial advisers to look after the diverse needs of their clients.
  • Personal: We help people throughout the UK plan for their financial futures – through our financial planning business, our digital direct-to-consumer services and discretionary fund management services.

We’re a global business, with clients in 80 countries. We manage and administer £532 billion of assets on their behalf, and we have over 1 million shareholders. (Figures as at 30/6/2021).

About JC Flowers

J C Flowers is one of the largest private equity firms solely focused on the financial services sector with over $17 billion of capital invested in more than 60 portfolio companies in 18 countries across a range of industry subsectors including banking, insurance and reinsurance, securities firms, speciality finance and wealth management. In May 2017, JCF acquired control of interactive investor in a transaction that combined ii with TD Direct and has seen it subsequently grow organically and through acquisition into the UK’s second largest direct to consumer investing platform.

To view the abrdn rns released this morning, view here.

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