State Street Corp. is in talks to acquire Bank of Ireland Asset Management, according to three people familiar with the matter.
Macquarie Group, which had been in advanced talks to take over BIAM, dropped out, according to two of the people, who declined to be identified because the negotiations are private.
No agreement has been reached and the sale may take months, said two of the people.
The European Commission ordered the sale of the unit as a condition of approving a government bailout of Bank of Ireland. BIAM managed €25 billion ($31.8 billion) in assets as of April 16, down from €57.5 billion in 2004, when it was Ireland's largest investment manager.
State Street spokeswoman Carolyn Cichon declined to comment, as did Bank of Ireland spokesman Dan Loughrey and Karen Smith, a London-based spokeswoman for Macquarie.
Scott Powers, chief executive of SSgA, said in an interview published on Aug. 3 that the index funds specialist is looking for acquisitions to expand actively managed investments and cut reliance on passive funds. BIAM is primarily an active manager, while SSgA is the second-biggest U.S. provider of index funds after BlackRock.