Has Joe Sullivan
found a welcome suitor for Legg Mason
], or was he surprised, too?
| Joe Sullivan|
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
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.
Neil Anderson, Managing Editor
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