9th November 2021
Good morning If you saved money during the pandemic and used it to splash out on a non-essential item, then you’re not alone. A recent survey of 4,000 Brits found that 90% splurged on a luxury in the past 18 months, at an average cost of £1,400. Popular buys included hot tubs, pizza ovens and home gyms. But 8% of buyers said those treats were never used. Another 9% no longer use them, and 11% use them less than expected.
Fund giant eyes £1.5bn investing platform
McAfee goes private in $14bn deal
INVESTMENTFund giant eyes £1.5bn investing platform
What’s going on?Asset manager Abrdn is in talks to buy DIY investing platform Interactive Investor in a deal worth £1.5bn.
Why is this important?
Abrdn is one of the UK’s largest fund managers, with £535bn assets managed for its clients.Earlier this year the FTSE 100 firm underwent a major rebrand when it ditched the vowels in its original name - that was widely mocked - in an attempt to modernise. The company wants to move away from mainly selling investment funds and towards the fast growing sector of wealth management for individuals also known as retail investors.The UK retail investor market has grown by a third in the past year fuelled by the extra disposable income created by the pandemic along with the near 0% interest rates. There are now 8.6m DIY investors.A few weeks ago it bought Finimize, a subscription-based investment advice service with 1m millennial subscribers.The acquisition of Interactive Investor would give Abrdn direct access to retail investors.Interactive has almost 500,000 clients who use the platform to pick stocks. If a deal went through Abrdn could start selling its funds on the Interactive platform. Interactive generates revenue through a fixed fee of customer portfolios. The customer base is affluent with an average account size of more than £100,000.TakeawayTalks between Abrdn and Interactive are still in the early stages so a deal is far from certain. But it would be a change in strategy from Interactive if it went through. Back in the summer the company said it was considering floating on the London Stock Exchange in line with rivals Hargreaves Lansdown and AJ Bell.
ITMcAfee goes private in $14bn deal
Antivirus software firm McAfee is set to be bought by a group of private investors for $14bn in one of the largest IT deals in history. The cybersecurity pioneer has a long and winding history of ownership since being founded in 1987 by John McAfee.McAfee left the company in 1994 and the company was acquired by computing giant Intel in 2010 for $8bn. In 2014, Intel announced it was rebranding the McAfee software as “Intel Security.” Last October, Intel spun off the company in a return to the public stock marketThe change in ownership to private investor hands comes at a time when the Covid-driven shift to remote working and a rise in cyberattacks has driven rising demand for digital security software.John McAfee led a troubled life after leaving the company he founded. In 2012 he fled to Guatemala from Belize as he was sought in connection with a murder.This March, he was charged with cryptocurrency fraud and was found dead in a prison cell in Barcelona three months later, just before Spain had approved extraditing him to the US to face tax fraud charges.
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