Asset management giant Abrdn has confirmed it is in talks to buy stock-picking platform Interactive Investor.
It comes after weekend reports that the FTSE 100 group, which renamed from Standard Life Aberdeen earlier this year, was finalising a deal worth £1.5 billion.
Shares in the company lifted after it told shareholders on Monday morning that it is currently in discussions with Interactive Investor’s private equity owner JC Flowers & Co over the potential acquisition.
The company added: “There can be no certainty that these discussions will result in a transaction and a further announcement by the company will be made as and when appropriate.”
JC Flowers & Co has owned a majority stake in Interactive Investor, the UK’s second-largest fund supermarket, since 2016.
The Financial Times reported a deal could be announced “in the next few weeks”.
A deal would expand Abrdn’s direct-to-consumer business by giving it access to 450,000 clients, on behalf of whom the firm manages more than £55 million.
It comes on the back of a boom in demand on DIY investing platforms since the pandemic, with other platforms such as Hargreaves Lansdown benefiting from the Reddit-fuelled surge in stock-buying.
Stephen Bird, who took over at the helm of Abrdn last year, has previously suggested the firm could use the acquisition to help spark further growth.
Shares in Abrdn moved 3.1% higher to 263.7p after it confirmed the talks.