Barclays confirms having talks with BlackRock


LONDON: Barclays said yesterday it had held talks with US money manager BlackRock on the possible sale of the British bank’s asset management arm.

The Sunday Telegraph newspaper reported over the weekend that a sale of Barclays Global Investors (BGI) to BlackRock for US$13bil (9.3 billion euros) could be announced this week.

“Barclays has had discussions with a number of parties, including with BlackRock” regarding the sale of BGI, the bank said yesterday.

“The discussions are not yet concluded and there are a number of significant open issues which could affect the nature and terms of any transaction,” it added in a brief statement.

Barclays added that its talks with BGI and the other parties had centred also on the possible purchase of iShares, a division of BGI.

Barclays in April agreed to sell iShares to private equity group CVC Capital Partners for US$4.4bil to help the bank avoid having to join a government insurance scheme for risky assets.

However, Barclays has the right to break the deal and sell to a third party up until late June.       

The Financial Times, meanwhile, reported yesterday that Bank of New York Mellon had launched its own bid to buy BGI. It added that should BlackRock succeed in the battle for BGI, Barclays would take a 20% stake in the US money manager. – AFP

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