(Corrects second graph to say million instead of thousand)
* Sale expected for $250 mln-$300 mln - source
* Lightyear, Thoma Bravo, Crestview among bidders - sources
By Jessica Toonkel
NEW YORK, Feb 28 SunTrust Banks Inc has
found at least three private equity firms interested in buying
its Ridgeworth Investments asset management unit, sources said,
in the Atlanta-based bank's third attempt to sell the firm in as
The price is likely to be $250 million to $300 million, one
of the two sources said.
The prospective bidders include New York-based Lightyear
Capital and Crestview Partners, and Chicago-based Thoma Bravo,
LLC, said the sources, who declined to be identified because
they are not authorized to talk to the media.
The regional bank in the past few weeks has reached out to a
handful of private equity firms about buying Ridgeworth, the
sources familiar with the situation told Reuters this week.
Ridgeworth has $48.1 billion in assets under management,
according to the company's website.
The bank has provided a handful of buyers updated
information about mandates that Ridgeworth has won recently from
institutional investors, and it expects to get final bids in the
next few days, one of the sources said, declining to elaborate.
A Lightyear spokeswoman did not return requests for comment.
A spokeswoman for Thoma Bravo and spokesmen for Crestview and
SunTrust declined to comment.
SunTrust, which suffered large losses during the financial
crisis, was one of the few large U.S. banks whose capital plans
such as raising dividends and initiating stock buybacks were
rejected by the Federal Reserve Board last year in its
SunTrust tried to sell its asset management business, which
includes six managers and its own Ridgeworth Funds, to Henderson
Group Plc in 2010, but those talks fell apart. At that
time the purchase price was estimated at $300 million to $400
million, according to media reports.
Last spring, SunTrust tried to sell its business again
, but failed to cement a deal, the sources said.
If Crestview wins the Ridgeworth business, it would mark the
second bank-owned asset management acquisition that the private
equity firm makes this year.
Last week, Crestview teamed up with employees of Victory
Capital Management to acquire Victory from KeyCorp for
(Reporting by Jessica Toonkel; Editing by Richard Chang)