Financial service provider BISYS hopes that buyers will have an appetite for bite-size bits of the company, after efforts by the Roseland, N.J.-based firm to sell itself whole yielded little interest, according to TheDeal.com. The multi-faceted company, which said it would sell itself as one big block in order for investors to reap a tax advantage, expected an offer between $1.5 billion and 2 billion. The company announced its sale plans last August, after a strategic overview conducted by Bear Stearns. At the same time, Russell Fradin resigned the chief executive post. At the end of a second round of bids in February, Welsh, Carson Anderson & Stowe, The Carlyle Group and The Blackstone Group were all rumored to be on the short list of suitors. But a source described the process as “tortured,” and several others confirmed that some suitors are looking only at part of the company. The top contender now, according to unnamed sources, is Brussels-based Fortis. Blackstone appears to have bowed out, meanwhile. Some have suggested the disparate functions of the company—half provides back-office, third-party services for fund complexes, retirement plans, hedge funds and private equity, while half centers on life, commercial property-casualty and long-term care disability insurance products—turns buyers off. A federal investigation alleging the firm provided kickbacks to 27 fund companies, coupled with several shareholder lawsuits, only further diminished marketability. In March, on source told the paper, “There is not a person alive who wanted to do it for the whole company.” The staff of Money Management Executive ("MME") has prepared these capsule summaries based on reports published by the news sources to which they are attributed. Those news sources are not associated with MME, and have not prepared, sponsored, endorsed, or approved these summaries.
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