Private-equity giants Blackstone (NYSE:BX) and Carlyle have reportedly joined forced in an attempt to acquire Regions Financial’s (NYSE:RF) Morgan Keegan brokerage unit.
According to the Financial Times, Blackstone and Carlyle are carrying out due diligence on the unit and are competing against private-equity group Thomas H. Lee. Bids for Memphis-based Morgan Keegan, which has about 1,200 financial advisers, are expected to arrive in the next two to three weeks, the paper reported.
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Regions Financial, which is based in Birmingham, Ala., hired Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) in June to explore strategic options for Morgan Keegan, which posted $1.3 billion in revenue last year.
Bids for Morgan Keegan are seen coming in at about the business’s $1.5 billion book value, the FT reported.
There were as many as 10 potential suitors for Morgan Keegan that went through a second round of bidding in early August. However, Regions excluded possible bank buyers like Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) due to concerns from Morgan Keegan about being owned by another institution, the paper reported.
Shares of Regions slipped 0.14% to $3.60 Tuesday morning. They have tumbled almost 50% year-to-date.