(Bloomberg) -- Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce is weighing a bid for Frank Russell Co.’s asset management arm, a business London Stock Exchange Group is preparing to sell early next year, people with knowledge of the matter said.
LSE, which completed its purchase of Frank Russell this month, may fetch $1.3 billion to $1.5 billion for the investment-management business, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. LSE is working with Barclays and Greenhill & Co. on the sale process, the people said.
The exchange operator said in June, when it agreed to buy Frank Russell for $2.7 billion, that it would conduct a “comprehensive review” of the unit, which manages about $275 billion in assets. LSE bought Frank Russell primarily for its index business, which manages benchmark equity gauges including the Russell 2000 Index.
While that review is officially still under way, and LSE may decide not to sell the unit, it’s preparing to start an auction for the business after Jan. 1, due in part to strong market interest, one person said. LSE has been approached by more than 30 potential buyers, including banks, asset managers, and private-equity firms, this person said.
Representatives for LSE, CIBC and Barclays declined to comment. A spokesman for Greenhill didn’t respond to a request for comment.
CIBC, Canada’s fifth-largest bank by assets, has been seeking to expand its wealth-management division. It bid for Frank Russell earlier this year when it was being sold by Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co., people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News then.
Victor Dodig, CIBC’s chief executive officer, said this month that the the Toronto-based bank would consider wealth- management takeovers of asset managers worth up C$2 billion ($1.75 billion), as it seeks to complement its American Century and Atlantic Trust businesses in the U.S.