Swiss private banking company Julius Baer Group Ltd (VTX:BAER) said on Tuesday it was negotiating a potential deal to buy Merrill Lynch’s wealth management business outside the US from Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC), or BofA.
As the ongoing talks are at a preliminary stage, there can be no guarantee as to the outcome, the Swiss group said.
It gave no further details on the terms being discussed.
In a report on Monday, the CNBC said that Julius Baer was nearing an agreement to take over Merrill Lynch’s international wealth management, pointing out at a possible price range of between USD1.5bn (EUR1.2bn) and USD2bn.
Reuters cited informed sources in April as saying that Julius Baer was eyeing some businesses of BofA in Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and Asia, Japan not included.
BofA decided to put the wealth management unit outside the US on the block as its small size prevents it from producing sufficient income, Reuters said in April. The unit handles USD90bn worth of assets for wealthy clients.
Julius Baer, focused on advisory services to private clients, had total client assets worth CHF268bn (USD281.3bn/EUR223.2bn) at the end of April 2012, with assets under management accounting for CHF178bn.
The private bank has more than 3,600 employees in over 20 countries.