* Blackstone, Advent eye first step toward multi-boutique-
* Genstar, Lightyear, Thoma Bravo, Pacific Life also bidding
By Jessica Toonkel
NEW YORK, Aug 30 A number of private equity
firms and at least one investment management firm are expected
to bid for Munder Capital Management in a deal that could be
valued up to $400 million, according to a number of sources
familiar with the deal.
Blackstone Group LP has teamed up with Advent
International to bid for Munder - which rode the dotcom wave and
subsequent bust with a technology fund - as a first step toward
creating a multi-boutique asset management firm, according to
three of the sources, who wished to remain anonymous because
they are not permitted to speak to the media.
Private equity firms Lightyear Capital, Genstar Capital and
Thoma Bravo are also expected to submit bids, the sources said.
On the investment management side, Pacific Life Insurance
is expected to bid.
Bids are due by mid-September, the sources said.
Calls to Lightyear, Thoma Bravo and Pacific Life were not
returned. Advent, Blackstone, Thoma Bravo, Genstar and Crestview
declined to comment.
New York-based private equity firm Crestview Partners is
looking to sell Birmingham, Michigan-based Munder after owning
it since 2006. The firm has tapped Goldman Sachs to
oversee the sale. A Goldman Sachs spokesman declined to comment.
During the dot-com boom, Munder was best-known for managing
the NetNet Fund, which in 2000 was the largest Internet fund,
with $11.5 billion in assets.
But after the industry crashed in the early 2000s, Munder
struggled to recover. The firm currently has eight mutual funds
with $7.2 billion in assets, according to Morningstar.
Blackstone and Advent are looking at jointly buying Munder
as a first step toward creating a multi-boutique investment
management firm along the lines of Affiliated Managers Group
and Legg Mason, two of the source said.
The two firms have had discussions about funding such a
platform, the sources said, declining to elaborate on other
asset managers that may be looking to buy as part of the effort.