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Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Will First Eagle Switch PE Backers?

News summary by MFWire's editors

Bridget Macaskill and her team at First Eagle Investment Management [profile] may soon have new private equity backers.

Jessica Toonkel and Greg Roumeliotis of Reuters report that, according to unnamed sources, Blackstone Group and Corsair Capital are in what are expected to be multi-week negotiations to buy "a major stake" in the New York City-based First Eagle. Those sources say the still-uncertain deal values First Eagle at about $4 billion, which translates into four percent of its assets under management ($100 billion as of December 31, including $75.2 billion in its seven mutual funds).

Another private equity firm, TA Associates, has backed First Eagle since 2007, and in 2013 Reuters reported that TA was in the "very early stages" of working on selling its roughly 25-percent First Eagle stake. The family of First Eagle chairman and chief investment officer John Arnhold owns a majority of the firm. The wire service notes that "it could not be determined what percentage of the family's stake would be part of the deal."

MFWire could not reach Arnhold himself, a First Eagle spokesperson, or TA managing director Roy Burns for comment on the deal talks. Spokespeople for Corsair and TA all declined to comment to Reuters, and a spokesperson for Blackstone declined to comment to MFWire and Reuters

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor


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