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PE Firms Bidding for BofA's First Republic

Carlyle, Blackstone and TPG are leading a group of bidders in talks to buy Bank of America's First Republic Bank, a report says.

Carlyle Group,

Blackstone

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and TPG are leading a group of bidders in talks to buy

Bank of America's

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First Republic Bank, a report says.

The private-equity firms may partner with First Republic Chairman James H. Herbert II,

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Bloomberg

reports, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Bank of America is looking to sell businesses like First Republic to raise capital. The bank received $45 billion in funds from the U.S. government to help shore up its balance sheet.

First Republic, inherited by Bank of America through its takeover of Merrill Lynch, may fetch $700 million, according to a CreditSights analyst,

Bloomberg

reports. Merrill bought the bank, which had assets of $15.3 billion at the end of 2007, for $1.8 billion that same year.

Representatives of Carlyle, Blackstone and TPG declined to comment for

Bloomberg

, as did spokesmen at Bank of America and First Republic, which has banking or trust offices in 10 cities including New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. The bank caters to wealthy individuals.