NEW YORK — With speculation running rampant last Friday that Morgan Stanley might be moving to acquire a controlling stake in BlackRock Inc. from PNC Financial Corp., sources said a deal is more than just market speculation and could result in the formation of one of the industry's largest money managers.
A union between Morgan Stanley and BlackRock, which has 70% of its publicly traded stock held by PNC, would create a powerhouse with a combined $884 billion in assets under management, according to SEC filings from the companies.
"It's a potentially landscape-changing deal," said Eric Fitzwater, a senior analyst who covers asset management for SNL Financial, a Charlottesville, Va.-investment bank. "It would catapult Morgan Stanley to a completely different league."
Officials at Morgan Stanley, BlackRock and PNC all declined to comment.
With Morgan Stanley undergoing a great deal of change in its executive management and investment management teams over the last year, the timing might not be ideal to integrate a $452 billion asset manager such as BlackRock into the organization, added Mr. Fitzwater.