Dexia in talks with New York Life to sell asset management arm

BRUSSELS Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:54pm EDT

The Dexia tower is seen in La Defense, near Paris, November 8, 2012. REUTERS/John Schults

The Dexia tower is seen in La Defense, near Paris, November 8, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/John Schults

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Belgian financial group Dexia (DEXI.BR) has entered into exclusive talks with New York Life Investments to sell its asset management unit, it said late on Thursday.

The group, which has to sell Dexia Asset Management as part of a deal with European regulators in exchange for state aid it received in recent years, did not say how much New York Life Investments planned to offer.

Dexia had initially agreed to sell the asset management arm to Hong Kong-based GCS Capital for 380 million euros ($507 million), but that deal fell through in July.

The group said it was confident that New York Life Investments would see the deal through if the two sides decided to put pen to paper.

New York Life Investments, fully owned by New York Life Insurance Company NYLIN.UL, is an investment firm with some $388 billion in assets under management.

On Wednesday, FinEx Capital, part of the investment management firm FinEx Group, said it had made an offer to buy the unit.

Dexia Asset Management had 72.7 billion euros of assets under management at the end of June 2013, according to its website.

Dexia was once the world's biggest lender to local authorities, but it had to be bailed out by France and Belgium when its access to funds dried up in the credit crunch.

It faces a future as a holding of bonds and loans that will gradually expire, underpinned by state guarantees for its funding.

(Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; Editing by Anthony Barker)

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