Carlyle in Talks to Sell TCW Stake -- WSJ
Bidders for bond manager include Japan's Nippon Life, Mitsubishi UFJ
By Sarah Krouse, Justin Baer and Miriam Gottfried
This article is being republished as part of our daily reproduction of WSJ.com articles that also appeared in the U.S. print edition of The Wall Street Journal (September 28, 2017).
Carlyle Group LP is in talks to sell a stake in bond manager TCW Group Inc. to bidders including Japan's Nippon Life Insurance Co. and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., according to people familiar with the matter.
The private-equity firm, which bought 60% of TCW from French bank Société Générale SA in 2013, has been exploring the sale of at least part of its stake for months. MUFG, as it is known, emerged as a potential buyer of the $200 billion asset manager after discussions with Nippon were already under way, the people said. Other American and European firms subsequently expressed interest, they said, though it is unclear how serious those talks are.
A deal may not materialize, the people cautioned.
The two Japanese firms are among several Asian financial giants to explore investments in the U.S. asset-management industry, known for its relatively thick profit margins and consistent revenue. Japan's SoftBank Group recently agreed to buy Fortress Investment Group LLC, while Chinese conglomerate HNA Group is pursuing the purchases of hedge-fund firm SkyBridge Capital and a stake in OM Asset Management PLC.
While most investment firms are under pressure to lower fees, fixed-income managers such as TCW have so far fared better than their stock picking counterparts in stemming the flow of client money into exchange-traded funds and other "passive" investments.
A deal with either Japanese firm could provide a source of new money for TCW to manage or seed funding for new products, such as mutual funds.