Strong Capital Management, a firm entrenched in the middle of the mutual fund scandal, is hurriedly attempting to complete a sale of the company, sources told Reuters Friday.
Since allegations of improper trading hit the company in September, Strong has seen net outflows of $2.9 billion, the resignation of founder Richard Strong and the lingering possibility of major penalties for wrongdoing.
"A lot of people are kicking the tires. Who actually rolls up their sleeves to do this though is anybodys guess," one banker representing a potential buyer of Strong told Reuters.
No exact cutoff date has been set for when bids are due, but the company does not want the bleeding to continue while the uncertainty in ownership remains. By Christmas, sources say, Strong hopes to be interviewing prospective buyers.
A company spokesman, Drew Wineland, told Reuters that although Strong is "exploring" a sale, "nothing may come of this exploration." Most insiders believe, however, that the sale is imminent.
While bids look to hover around $1 billion, Strongs current stature in the scandal as well as reported eagerness to sell may force that price lower. The company currently oversees $40 billion in assets.