Santander, BlackRock eye Citigroup unit: report

3rd March 2011, Comments 0 comments

Spanish bank Santander and US investment fund BlackRock have set their sights on the consumer finance unit of Citigroup in what could be a $2 billion deal, the Financial Times reported.

BlackRock has allied with the Carlyle asset management group and Bob Willumstad, a former Citigroup executive, to develop an offer, the newspaper said on its website Thursday, citing unnamed sources close to the matter.

It said Santander, which is hoping to boost its presence in the US market, may join forces with private equity firm Warburg Pincus.

It added that Apollo Management may also be a contender.

Citigroup, which has wanted to sell off the unit for several months, may propose that interested parties retain some of its debt, the report said.

CitiFinancial serves more than three million customers worldwide, including two million in the United States where it operates 1,500 branches.

© 2011 AFP

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