BNY Mellon and Federated Turned Reserve Down
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Monday, October 15, 2012

BNY Mellon and Federated Turned Reserve Down

What would you have paid for Bruce Bent's business in early 2008? Turns out you could have had it for around $1 billion.

To read about the ongoing saga of Reserve and its legal battles since the collapse of the Primary Fund, see our living timeline.

As Kirsten Grind of the Wall Street Journal reports, Bruce Bent Sr. testified on Friday that in the months before the Reserve Primary Fund [profile] broke the buck, he had been discussing a sale of the fund's parent company, Reserve Management Co. Grind writes that in early 2008 Bent heard from "at least two dozen" interested buyers, including Federated and Bank of New York Mellon, but couldn't nail down a sale.

According to Bent's testimony, several firms were willing to go as high as $600 million for the company, which had doubled in size in the nine months leading up to Lehman Brothers' collapse. But Bent said that he thought his company, with 26 mutual funds and $110 billion in AUM, was worth $1 billion.

Bent's efforts to sell the company finally came to an end on September 16, the day after Lehman filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Bent testified that while his firm was breaking the buck, he was on vacation in Italy with his wife, and his son called to tell him the bad news. Bent said the news left him simply "speechless."

See MFWire's timeline fo the Reserve Fund saga here.

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