Tepid Bids for BofA's Columbia Unit (Update) - TheStreet

(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) - Get Report

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


(BLK) - Get Report

, 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


(IVZ) - Get Report


Franklin Templeton

, a unit of

Franklin Resources

(BEN) - Get Report

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) - Get Report

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.