| NEW YORK, June 26
NEW YORK, June 26 Crestview Partners is looking
to sell Birmingham, Michigan-based Munder Capital Management in
a deal that could be valued at up to $400 million, according to
three sources familiar with the situation.
The New York-based private equity firm has hired Goldman
Sachs Group Inc to run the sale process, the sources said
The most likely buyer for Munder will be a fund company that
can merge Munder's funds into its own, the sources said.
Crestview and Goldman Sachs declined to comment.
Crestview along with Munder managers bought Munder in 2006
from Comerica Inc for $302 million in a leveraged
buyout. Sources estimate the asset management firm, which has
$16 billion in assets under management, could be sold for $350
million to $400 million.
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 dot-com industry crashed in the early 2000s,
Munder struggled to recover. The firm currently has eight mutual
funds with $7 billion in assets, according to Morningstar.
"They have broadened their product line and they were
gaining some traction in the marketplace," said Geoff Bobroff,
an independent mutual fund consultant. "The difficulty we have
seen over the years is these small fund families have a
difficult time unless they have outstanding performance in a
fund or two and their performance has been fine, but not
Five of Munder's seven funds with a five-year track record
have outperformed their peers for that period, according to data
from Morningstar Inc. Seven of its 10 funds with a
one-year track record outperformed their peers for that period.