Swiss money manager Julius Baer Group, which has been in talks since June or earlier with Bank of America Corp to buy its Merrill Lynch non-U.S. wealth management units, was reported to be close to a deal that could be announced as early as Monday.
Bloomberg reported Friday that the units could be worth as much as $1.5 billion to $2 billion, according to sources with knowledge of the arrangements. However, negotiations are still ongoing and may still fail, the sources said.
Baer has been looking for assets to take the place of repatriated Swiss account funds as a worldwide crackdown on tax evasion prompts clients to move their money. The firm would like to increase its 178.8 billion francs ($183 billion) of managed assets, and the Merrill units manage approximately $80 billion.
The client base for the Merrill units ranges from Europe and the Middle East to Africa, in addition to high-net-worth clients in Latin America and Asia outside Japan.