Troubled Dexia shortlists two bidders for asset management unit

Rescued Franco-Belgian bank Dexia (EBR:DEXB) will reportedly pick the exclusive bidder for its asset management business within the next two weeks, Bloomberg said on Tuesday, citing sources in the know.

As many as three international investors are still in the race for Dexia Asset Management (DAM), Dexia said on 27 June. The unit could be sold for a minimum USD500m (EUR412m), two of the insiders noted.

According to the sources, the potential investors are New York Life Insurance Co and Australia’s Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX:MQG), as well as private equity fund GCS Capital (HK) Co, which has joined forces with China’s Hony Capital Ltd in its bid for the business.

DAM, which has management centres in Brussels, Paris, Luxembourg and Sydney, is active in 25 countries. The division had over EUR79bn (USD9.6bn) in assets under management as at 1 March.

None of the parties wished to comment on the matter when contacted by Bloomberg.

The sale of the asset management unit is part of Dexia’s sell-off programme approved in October 2011. Since then, the bank has disposed of Dexia Bank Belgium, agreed the sales of RBC Dexia, Bank International in Luxembourg and its Turkish arm DenizBank and also initiated a sales procedure for the French local public sector financing operations of Dexia Credit Local.

Excluding DAM’s disposal, Dexia values its asset sales between October 2011 and June 2012 at some EUR8.7bn (USD10.5bn), the bank said last month.