| NEW YORK, July 11
NEW YORK, July 11 Barclays Plc's
planned sale of its index business could yield close to $1
billion for the British bank, more than double what had been
expected, according to people familiar with the matter.
The long-anticipated sale of the Index, Portfolio and Risk
Solutions (IPRS) business kicked off in early June, and several
bidders recently progressed into the auction's second round, the
Before Barclays provided detailed financial information on
the index business, potential bidders had estimated the unit to
be worth above $400 million, the people said. The business
includes a basket of over 98 major indexes, according to the
But the business showed much higher than expected revenue
figures during early due diligence, and now potential buyers are
valuing the unit at nearly $1 billion, the people said, asking
not to be named because the matter is not public.
The estimated price tag reflects a multiple of over eight
times revenues, which is in line with precedent transactions for
index businesses, the people said.
A Barclays representative declined to comment.
The U.S. Aggregate Bond Index, which Barclays bought as part
of the Lehman Brothers acquisition during the financial crisis,
is among the platform's best-known offerings.
In addition, the Barclays business includes a risk solutions
software tool used by institutional investors to perform
analysis of their holdings.
Indexes such as MSCI Inc, London Stock Exchange
Group Plc, McGraw Hill Financial's Standard &
Poor's index unit, as well as financial information services
Markit Ltd and Bloomberg LP could be contenders, one of
the people said. It was unknown who still remained in the
Barclays also had attracted preliminary interest from
Interactive Data Corp and Thomson Reuters Corp
Reuters first reported in November that Barclays began
exploring options for the index business following an approach
Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company
recently sold its index business, Russell Investments,
to the London Stock Exchange Group Plc for $2.7 billion.
(Reporting by Mike Stone; Editing by Leslie Adler)