(Editor's note: This article has been updated since its original publication to reflect that Oppenheimer Holdings has never been interested in Columbia while OppenheimerFunds declined to comment. A clarification also has been published.)
Bank of America's (BAC) Columbia Management unit isn't garnering the amount of interest the nation's largest bank expected.
Bids for the asset management business have been lukewarm, the Financial Times reports, with bids coming in around $2 billion, far less than the $3 billion Bank of America expected to get for the business.
A sale of the unit also got tougher now that BlackRock (BLK), once seen as the likeliest suitor for Columbia, instead opted to buy Barclays Global Investors for $13.5 billion.Bank of America took over Columbia when it acquired FleetBoston several years ago. Executives have said Columbia doesn't fit the bank's model. Bank of America may consider dividing Columbia into two and entertaining separate offers for its money market funds operation, the Financial Times reports, citing people close to the matter. Large asset managers interested in buying Columbia could be Invesco (IVZ), Franklin Templeton, a unit of Franklin Resources (BEN) or Oppenheimer, the newspaper reports. The newspaper was not clear about which Oppenheimer company was interested. A spokeswoman for OppenheimerFunds Inc. declined to comment. The unrelated Oppenheimer Holdings (OPY) is not interested and has never been involved in any discussions with BofA about Columbia, according to Lou Colasuonno, managing director of FD, a communications firm representing Oppenheimer Holdings. Bank of America had no comment for the Financial Times. Bank of America also is trying to sell its First Republic Bank subsidiary, which caters to wealthy investors.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV