Private equity firm Hellman & Friedman is considering acquiring Gartmore Investment Management, sources tell Bloomberg. The asking price may be $944 million, they said.

Hellman is said to be interested in Gartmore's $6.3 billion of hedge fund assets, particularly as hedge funds carry high fees and are increasingly in popularity.

"The move into hedge funds has done a lot to help them," commented Ian Brimecone, an investment banker at Fox-Pitt, Kelton. He called the hedge fund business that Gartmore has built "substantial."

Gartmore's parent company, Nationwide Mutual Life Insurance, put the company up for sale last year. However, Nationwide will retain Gartmore's U.S. fund unit. Nationwide bought Gartmore in 2000 from Royal Bank of Scotland Group.

Subscribe Now

Access to premium content including in-depth coverage of mutual funds, hedge funds, 401(K)s, 529 plans, and more.

3-Week Free Trial

Insight and analysis into the management, marketing, operations and technology of the asset management industry.