A Carillion construction site in London before the company’s collapse. Picture: REUTERS
A Carillion construction site in London before the company’s collapse. Picture: REUTERS

The UK’s markets regulator will question asset managers about their decision to sell stakes in Carillion before the construction giant’s demise in January.

The Financial Conduct Authority has called in Standard Life Aberdeen, which once had a 10.8% stake in Carillion, for an interview in the coming weeks, according to two people with knowledge of the situation.

Other firms have also been asked to answer questions, according to one of the people, who did not want to be identified because the Financial Conduct Authority request was private. Carillion, an outsourcing company with contracts in everything from hospitals to high-speed rail, collapsed in January after failing to shore up its finances. It left debts of about €1.6bn. The failure has prompted a debate about how companies are run and the extent to which the government relies on service providers.

Standard Life began selling Carillion shares in December 2015 on concern about financial management, strategy and corporate governance, Britain’s largest active money manager told MPs in writing earlier in 2018. It said it raised the concerns with senior executives in regular meetings until it sold its full stake in July 2017.

Executives of Standard Life and BlackRock will be questioned on Wednesday in a separate inquiry in Parliament.

Bloomberg

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