The sale of Columbia Management
may be nearing its end. MFWire
has learned that only three bidders remain in the running for the Bank of America
One source familiar with the situation also told MFWire
that a private-equity-backed, management-led LBO of Columbia is also a possibility.
Spokespeople for Ameriprise and BofA could not immediately be reached for comment. Invesco spokesman Doug Kidd
declined to comment for this story, citing company policy, and a spokeswoman for Nuveen also declined to comment.
Rumors about Columbia's fate have floated through the industry ever since BofA's acquisition of Merrill Lynch
(and, by extension, part of BlackRock
) came to light last year. Previously cited bidders include BlackRock itself, as well as Federated Investors
, Franklin Resources
and John Hancock
). Yet an industry insider told MFWire
earlier this year that Hancock's offer had been rebuffed, and BlackRock will have its hands full absorbing Barclays Global Investors
"We are not doing any more transactions for the time being," BlackRock CEO Larry Fink
said on a conference call last week (see MFWire, 6/12/2009
Ameriprise's interest may not surprise industry insiders. Ameriprise bought J.W. Seligman
last year for $440 million (see MFWire, 11/10/2008
), and speculation about the RiverSource
parent's deal hunger arose last week after the brokerage revealed plans for a $900 million public offering (see MFWire, 6/10/2009
). An industry insider told MFWire
that Ameriprise's bid would be only for the non-money market portion of Columbia's business.
Another insider noted that one plus for Ameriprise might be Don Froude
. Currently president of the personal advisors group at Ameriprise, Froude once led intermediary distribution for Columbia.
As for Invesco, the firm has finished digesting its acquisition of PowerShares
from 2006 (see MFWire, 1/23/2006
). And, like Ameriprise, Invesco also raised some new money within the past month: on May 18 Invesco unveiled
a $400 million public offering, and on June 9 Invesco unveiled
a new $500 million "revolving bank credit facility," both earmarked broadly for "general corporate purposes."
Nuveen, meanwhile, is backed by private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners
, which acquired the Chicago-based asset manager back in 2007 (see MFWire
Stay ahead of the news ... Sign up for our email alerts now