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Rating:Has Joe Sullivan Found a Buyer For Legg? Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Has Joe Sullivan Found a Buyer For Legg?

News summary by MFWire's editors

Has Joe Sullivan found a welcome suitor for Legg Mason [profile], or was he surprised, too?

Joe Sullivan
Legg Mason
Chairman and CEO
An unnamed bidder has made a takeover offer to the Baltimore-based, publicly-traded mutual fund shop, an unnamed source tells StreetInsider.com. The source did not reveal possible deal timing or pricing, which the publication calls "a possible indication that a sale process is at an early stage." And the article makes no mention of whether the offer is part of a formal auction process.

"We don't comment on market rumors," a Legg spokeswoman tells MFWire.

Meanwhile, asset-manager-watching Citi analyst Bill Katz tells investors that he sees a possible Legg sale "as unlikely," though he doesn't rule out the possibility completely.

Legg has more than $710 billion in AUM. Legg's current market capitalization is $3.72 billion, which translates into 0.52 percent of its AUM.

Legg's shares initially rose 4.7 percent today, SeekingAlpha and TheStreet pointed out. They later retreated some, closing up 1.99 percent for the day at $37.50 per share. Barron's and Baltimore Business Journal also covered Legg's share bump.

Today's deal rumors come two months after Sullivan confirmed a multi-part deal with Legg's single biggest shareholder, Singapore-based Shanda Group. Among other things, the deal involves Shanda upping its Legg stake to 15 percent, from 10.5 percent in December.

Meanwhile, back in October a Legg-watching analyst reacted favorably to rumors that an unnamed Japanese firm had strategically targeted Legg for an investment. 

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

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