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Monday, May 18, 2009

Who Will Fink Buy?

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

If Larry Fink buys a fund firm any time soon, will it be Columbia or iShares? That's the question contemplated by P&I's Douglas Appell, who reports that bankers see BlackRock standing ahead of the pack in the bidding for both asset managers (competing with the likes of RiverSource parent Ameriprise, BNY Mellon, Federated, Invesco and OppenheimerFunds for Columbia and with private equity for iShares). But those same sources told P&I that BlackRock could not do both deals at once.

MFWire first named BlackRock as a possible bidder for Columbia at the beginning of April as sales talk heated up (see MFWire, 4/1/2009). As for iShares, Barclays has already tentatively agreed to sell the ETF giant to CVC Capital Partners subsidiary Blue Sparkle, but other private equity firms have reportedly entered the fray since that announcement, while the WSJ reported last week that BlackRock and BNY Mellon are trying to buy all of Barclays Global Investors, including iShares (see MFWire, 4/9/2009, 5/11/2009 and 5/15/2009).

P&I also claims that Aberdeen Asset Management has entered the fray to try to purchase Delaware Investments from Lincoln Financial Group. (Aberdeen has already purchased Nationwide's active asset management arm: see MFWire, 9/18/2007 and 7/1/2008). 

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