Dexia, the lender being broken up after a Franco-Belgian bailout, is close to selecting a final bidder for its asset management unit as New York Life Insurance and Macquarie Group vie for the business, people with knowledge of the matter said.
Private equity fund GCS Capital (HK) is teaming up with Beijing-based Hony Capital to bid for the unit, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified as the process is private. The sale may fetch at least $500 million, two of the people said. An exclusive bidder may be selected within the next two weeks, one of them said.
Dexia said on June 27 that three international investors remain in competition for Dexia Asset Management, which has more than €79 billion ($96 billion) of assets under management and offers services in more than 25 countries, according to its website.
Macquarie in August 2009 bought Delaware Investments from Lincoln Financial Group for $428 million in cash to expand its asset management business. New York Life said in March it plans to eliminate about 200 jobs nationwide.
Hony Capital, sponsored by state-backed Legend Holdings, has raised $6.8 billion since it was founded in 2003. A purchase of Dexia Asset Management would be its first in the financial services industry outside China, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Officials at Dexia, New York Life, Macquarie and GCS declined to comment.