Scottish fund manager Aberdeen Asset Management and insurer Standard Life are exploring a possible merger, the two companies said in a statement.
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Aberdeen shareholders would own 33.3 percent of the combined group under the terms of the potential merger, with Standard Life shareholders owning the other 66.7 percent, the companies said.
"Further to the recent press speculation the boards of Standard Life and Aberdeen confirm that they are in discussions in relation to a possible all-share merger," they said.
"The potential merger represents an excellent opportunity to leverage Standard Life and Aberdeen's combined strengths to create a world class investment company."
(Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Hugh Lawson)