The French bank Societe Generale SA on Tuesday said its TCW Group unit, one of the largest U.S. asset managers, is not for sale, rejecting a published report to the contrary.
The denial came after Bloomberg News, citing unnamed sources, earlier Tuesday said the Paris-based lender was considering a management-led buyout or an initial public offering for TCW, which may be valued at $1 billion.
In its statement, Societe Generale repeated that an IPO is possible in the next two to three years, but that a sale is not in the offing. It also expressed support for TCW's chief executive, Marc Stern.
Societe Generale's plans for TCW have not changed, it said. TCW is not for sale and we continue to believe that TCW is on a trajectory for strong and sustained growth. Societe Generale Group fully supports Marc Stern and the board of directors of TCW in the firm's development strategy.
TCW oversees about $118 billion of assets, including in the TCW and MetWest fund families, and employs about 600 people.
It is still battling in court with its former chief investment officer, Jeffrey Gundlach, over the alleged theft of trade secrets. TCW fired Gundlach in December 2009, and he set up a rival firm, DoubleLine Capital.
(Reporting by Jennifer Ablan, Jonathan Stempel and Jessica Toonkel in New York, and Chris Jonathan Peters in Bangalore; Editing by Gary Hill)