According to The Wall Street Journal, Goldman, State Street (STT) and Australia’s Macquarie are all either eyeing New York-based MF Global or its parts. Other firms may also be looking at the company, but any deal would be expected to happen quickly as its stock plunged below $1 on Friday.
Corzine, the former governor of New Jersey, served as CEO at Goldman from 1994 to 1999, raking in an estimated $600 million.
MF Global may be on the verge of becoming the first U.S. victim of the European sovereign debt crisis as its market value has plummeted 62% this week alone on serious fears about its exposure to the bonds of troubled euro-zone nations.
MF Global will not survive in its entire form through the weekend, sources told FOX Business’s Charlie Gasparino.
Fears mounted after it emerged that regulators recently demanded MF Global boost its capital due to its $6.3 billion exposure to European governments -- a figure that represents five times its tangible common equity, according to Moody’s. The holdings also dwarf its shrunken $235 million market value.
This week Moody’s and Fitch slashed MF Global’s credit rating and Standard & Poor’s warned it may do the same.
Some of the potential suitors may not have approached MF Global about making a bid as they internally explore a move, the Journal reported. Still, they would have to reach a deal quickly because MF Global appears to be experiencing a "run on the bank."
MF Global, which is being advised by Evercore Partners, has also drawn down its revolving credit lines this week, including the entirety of two bank lines, Bloomberg News reported. The company’s lenders include Citigroup (C), Bank of America (BAC) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM).
Making an ill-timed bullish bet on Europe’s ability to solve its crisis, Corzine added to MF Global’s holdings of sovereign debt a year ago, Bloomberg reported. The positions accounted for 16% and 12% of the company’s net revenue in the quarters ended March and June.
“The tactical decision to assume this outsized proprietary position highlights the core profitability challenges faced by MF Global and the scope of the re-engineering challenge facing the firm’s management,” Moody’s analyst Al Bush said in a report this week.
Shares of MF Global traded near session highs after the Journal report, but quickly faded to close at $16.08, down 16.08% on the day. Earlier, the company broke below $1.00 a share for the first time ever, sinking to 99 cents.
Representatives from the Treasury Department and the Securities and Exchange commission declined to comment. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.