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Barclays in talks to sell its BGI unit

BARCLAYS has entered preliminary talks with US money manager BlackRock as well as other potential buyers for its prized asset management arm Barclays Global Investors (BGI).<br /><br />Any sell-off could generate at least $10bn (&pound;6.6bn) for the bank but the ongoing talks could easily lead to nothing.<br /><br />The Barclays board is understood only to want to sell BGI if it can get a substantial premium for it.<br /><br />It is not committed to a sale and does not believe that it needs the extra capital that a disposal would generate.<br /><br />A sale would mean huge windfalls for Barclays president Bob Diamond, already set to receive an estimated &pound;4.5m from the sale of iShares &ndash; BGI&rsquo;s exchange traded funds business.<br /><br />iShares sale to CVC Capital Partners for &pound;3bn, intended to help rebuild Barclays&rsquo; capital position, has already been&nbsp;agreed, but private equity firms BC Partners and Hellman &amp; Friedman are now believed to be considering a counter bid. CVC is eligible for a &pound;120m break fee if Barclays accepts a rival offer.