Troubled New Star proves attractive

UP TO ten firms are believed to have expressed an interest in taking over New Star Asset Management, the London-based stricken fund manager.

New Star, which was set-up by colourful City maverick John Duffield, is expected to be sold within a matter of weeks for more than 100 million.

Duffield – who founded New Star in 2001 after selling his Jupiter Asset Management business to Commerzbank in 1999 – is expected to leave the asset manager after the sale. Schroders has reportedly submitted an offer for the asset management company, along with rivals Neptune Investment Management and at least one private equity firm.

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Gartmore and Henderson have also been tipped as leaders in the race to buy New Star.

One player that appears to have ruled itself out of the running is Aberdeen Asset Management, which City watchers had previously linked to New Star.

Martin Gilbert, Aberdeen's chief executive, said: "It would be a really nice fit for us. We would love to own it because it is a very good business, but our reluctance to take on debt will preclude us from the process."

Late last month, Aberdeen Asset Management bought Credit Suisse's asset management arm for 250m in an all-share deal.

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