British investment company


( AVZ) is in talks to acquire Canadian fund company

Trimark Financial

, Amvescap said on Monday.

"Following recent press speculation, Amvescap PLC confirms it is in discussions with Trimark Financial Corp.," the company said in a brief statement.

Amvescap of London added that there was no assurance that the talks would result in a deal.

The Wall Street Journal

reported that Amvescap was expected to pay $1.81 billion for Trimark in a move that would boost Amvescap's Canadian assets to about $23 billion and to about $400 billion worldwide.

The paper said Amvescap was expected to pay about $18 in stock and cash for each Trimark share.

Trimark, one of the top 10 money mangers in Canada in terms of assets under management, is based in Toronto. The deal is seen as giving Amvescap a bigger foothold in the Canadian market.

Shares of Amvescap closed up 7/16, or 1%, at 71 1/2 on Friday. Amvescap finished Monday trading down 3 1/2, or 5%, at 68.