Probably not. London papers have been speculating for the past couple of days that London-based Amvescap is in takeover play. While one report offers up a possible buyer, they generally offer no evidence of other than a rising share price and the money manager's recent settlement with the SEC. Of course, it is just as likely that the settlement itself is goosing the stock by removing uncertainty about Amvescap's future.
The most detailed story on the rumors sweeping the London Exchange were provided by the Independent
. The British paper identified both Deutsche Bank and Franklin Resources as potential bidders for Amvescap. Ironically, the German-based bank is itself in hot water over possible timing deals struck by its U.S.-based Scudder unit while Franklin also settled with the SEC in the timing matter and is under additional scrutiny for revenue sharing deals by Bill Lockyer's attorney general office in California.
An Amvescap spokesperson told the MFWire that it is the firm's policy not to comment on takeover rumors.
Still, Amvescap had jumped 3.6 percent based on the rumors, according to the paper, making it the largest mover on the exchange. The paper added that Amvescap already halved its dividend and is "likely to keep losing business, thanks to a combination of the bad publicity and its reduced creditworthiness because of the fine."
The Independent's analysis seems a stretch, though, as the firm's AIM Funds brand was not implicated in the scandals and it was already in the process of phasing out the now tarnished Invesco Funds brand even before the first allegations hit.
The paper also points Amvescap's failure to promote a right-hand to Charles Brady who promised to split the roles of chairman and chief executive. We are in no position to speculate about the meaning of the lack of a promotion.
The rumors were also picked up by London's Daily Mail
(which also named Deutsche Bank but not Franklin) and the Mirror
reported only that the stock moved on "vague takeover talk."
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