D Day For Standard Life
Standard Life Assurance faces D Day today, as it faces the vote on whether to demutualise and sell shares next month.
The timing is unfortunate, as the world stock markets are currently in decline.
Chief Executive Officer Sandy Crombie said last night:
"What really matters is the appetite of investors to put money in Standard Life."
Standard Life currently plans to sell its shares at between 240p-290p. Policyholders must vote by today on the plan.
The IPO would value Standard Life at £5.5BN. It is somewhat ironic that Crombie back in 2000 fought against demutualisation, when the reward for policyholders would have been 10 times as much.
In 2000 over 1 million Standard Life policyholders voted against a stock sale, after Standard Life spent £10M on a campaign against it.
The company then incurred investment losses after selling £7.5BN pounds of stocks in 2004, to meet stricter rules from the Financial Services Authority.
In other words, this is a forced sale.