The talks had been going on for months but collapsed overfailure to agree a price for the business, estimated to be wortharound £45 million ($72.2 million). API has £5.9 billion ($9.5billion) of assets under management and has been highly successfulbut parent company Aberdeen needs to cut costs and had hoped toraise £125 million ($201 million) through sale or flotation.

Aberdeen needed to raise cash to cut a £250 million ($402.7million) debt, but a sale is no longer as urgent as it was. SinceAPI was put up for sale last November, the company has renegotiatedits debt and replaced a consortium of banks with just HBOS, whichis supportive of the company retaining API.

There was also opposition from some of API's clients to aproperty company taking over the business. British Land hadproposed to run API at arms length but clients feared that it wouldstill be able to cherry pick the best investment opportunities.

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