BankUnited hires Goldman to explore sale: report

Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:29pm EST

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(Reuters) - Private equity-backed BankUnited Inc (BKU.N) has hired Goldman Sachs Group to explore a potential sale, Bloomberg News reported, citing a person familiar with the matter.

BankUnited was taken over and recapitalized by private investors such as Wilbur Ross's WL Ross & Co, Blackstone Group LP (BX.N) and Carlyle Group CYL.UL during the financial crisis, and went public in January 2011.

The John Kansas-led bank agreed to acquire New York-based Herald NationalBank HBA.N in June 2011, returning the banker to his home turf, where he ran North Fork Bancorp for about 20 years before selling it to Capital One (COF.N).

BankUnited and Goldman Sachs did not immediately respond to requests seeking comment.

Shares of BankUnited were up 6 percent at $24.44 in afternoon trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Jochelle Mendonca in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das)

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