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Reports: Standard Life Aberdeen in talks to sell insurance unit to Phoenix Group

Standard Life Aberdeen Plc is in advanced talks to sell its insurance unit to Phoenix Group Holdings for approximately £3 billion, sources told Bloomberg News and the Financial Times.

Phoenix Group will seek about £1 billion in fresh capital to help pay for the potential cash-and-stock transaction that would see Standard Life Aberdeen take a 20% shareholding in the former, according to the reports. The two groups have not yet entered into a final agreement, "people with knowledge of the matter" told Bloomberg.

The transaction could be announced as early as Feb. 23, when Standard Life Aberdeen is scheduled to report its results for full year 2017. News of the transaction followed reports of failed talks between Standard Life Aberdeen and Lloyds Banking Group Plc over a proposed merger of their life insurance operations.

Standard Life Aberdeen, which resulted from the 2017 merger of insurance group Standard Life and investment management group Aberdeen Asset Management, is also poised to announce that it has commenced the search for a successor to Gerry Grimstone, who is likely to step down as nonexecutive chairman in 2019, the FT said.

Barclays Plc in 2017 named Grimstone chairman of Barclays International, the non-ring-fenced bank comprising the British banking group's corporate and investment bank, international cards and payments, and private bank and overseas services businesses.