(Bloomberg) -- Legg Mason, in a bid to beef up its presence in alternative investments, agreed to buy a majority interest in real estate investment firm Clarion Partners, and said it would merge its Permal hedge fund platform with EnTrust Capital.

The firm also made a deal to expand its ETF business by taking a minority position in Precidian Investments, which is trying to win regulatory approval for a technology that could speed the growth of actively managed ETFs.

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