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DeAM declines comment on latest reports

GERMANY - Deutsche Asset Management in the UK has declined comment on a report that the asset management arms of Lloyds TSB, BNP Paribas and Old Mutual have expressed an interest in buying it.

“As the review of our business is ongoing, I’m not able to comment on issues like who may be interested in buying us,” said Esther Nass, spokeswoman for DeAM in the UK.

Nass reiterated that a restructuring of DeAM in the UK was as equally viable option as a sale. Deutsche Bank, DeAM’s parent, is not expected to make a final decision on the fate of the troubled UK asset manager until at least early May.

Deutsche put the business under review last December after losing top managers and tens of billions of euros in institutional assets. In February, it hired the UK investment bank Hawkpoint to explore a possible sale of the unit.

Citing people with knowledge of Deutsche’s plans, the Financial Times said on Friday there were 17 prospective buyers for DeAM in the UK, including Lloyds TSB, BNP Paribas and Old Mutual.

However, the paper said the bidding for the asset manager was still in the early stages, reflected by the fact that none of the interested parties had performed due diligence yet. Lloyds TSB, BNP Paribas and Old Mutual declined to comment.

The FT also said several of the parties had urged Deutsche to speed up the auction process so that a new owner could stabilise the business, which continues to lose institutional assets in the UK.

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