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Advisor Group said to be nearing $2B sale to PE firm

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Centerbridge Partners is in talks to buy independent broker-dealer Advisor Group for more than $2 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

The private equity firm could reach a deal as soon as this week to acquire Advisor Group, said the people, who asked to not be identified because the matter isn’t public.

A deal hasn’t been finalized and talks could fall through, the people said. The Phoenix-based company, which has been working with an adviser to explore a sale, has drawn interest from other private equity firms and broker-dealers, the people said.

AIG sold Advisor Group in 2016 to private equity firm Lightyear Capital and the Public Sector Pension Investment Board of Canada.

A representative for Lightyear declined to comment. Representatives for Advisor Group, Centerbridge and PSP didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Advisor Group’s independent broker-dealer network in the U.S. has more than 6,500 producing advisors offering sales, administrative, compliance support, technology and other wealth management services, according to its website. The company had $1.7 billion in gross revenue and $228 billion in assets under administration in 2018 — both increasing 20 percent over the previous year, according to a statement on its website.

The network's firms include FSC Securities, Royal Alliance Associates, SagePoint Financial and Woodbury Financial Services.

Centerbridge, based in New York, invests in private equity, credit and real estate. The firm had about $28 billion under management at the end of 2018, according to a statement this month.

Bloomberg News