LONDON Nov 17 Crisis-hit British funds firm
Gartmore GRTR.L is preparing to lose a large chunk of the 3.5
billion pounds of assets ($5.6 billion) managed by fund manager
Roger Guy, a senior company source said on Wednesday.
"We expect a significant portion of these assets to be
redeemed. Most of these assets are hedge fund assets and are
therefore quite personal to the fund manager," the source said.
"But even if we lose the whole chunk, we still have 17.5
billion pounds in total assets, which is quite a good sized
asset management company," the source said.
Star fund manager Guy stunned markets last week by
announcing his resignation from Gartmore, triggering a sharp
fall in its shares. Gartmore shares are now trading at 114.5
pence, nearly half their value since floating at 220 pence in
December last year. [ID:nLDE6A70K3] [ID:nLDE6A70TM]
Some analysts have suggested a large outflow of assets
managed by Guy and his former colleague Guillaume Rambourg could
make the company less attractive to possible bidders.
However, the source said that Gartmore had already started
to hold conversations with a number of interested parties,
although "nothing formal" was in progress at this stage.
Gartmore appointed Goldman Sachs (GS.N) to conduct a
strategic review at the fund firm to evaluate its options.
"If a sale is the outcome [of the review], we are most
likely to see a sale of Gartmore a complete unit," the source
Some analysts have said interested buyers were likely to
cherry-pick the company's best assets, making a sale of the
whole business more difficult.
Gartmore shareholders have also demanded that it resolves
the issue quickly to remove uncertainity at the firm, the source
A Gartmore spokeswoman declined to comment on the scale of
outflows and added that it was too early to "prejudge the
outcome" of the strategic review.
(Editing by Sinead Cruise and Jane Merriman)
($1 = 0.6294 pound)