Blackrock Nearing Toxic Asset Purchase

(Reuters) – The U.S. Treasury has preliminarily granted BlackRock Inc (BLK.N) a second-round interview to buy toxic assets from U.S. banks, using taxpayer money, the Wall Street Journal said on its Website late on Monday.

The report, citing sources familiar with the matter, also said Laurence Fink, the chairman of BlackRock, plans to raise as much as $7 billion to invest through the program, which could yield his firm millions of dollars in fees.

A spokesperson for BlackRock was not immediately reachable for comment.

The biggest publicly traded U.S. asset manager, which manages $1.28 trillion, is viewed as a potential bidder for Barclays Global Investors (BGI), the fund management arm of Barclays Plc (BARC.L), sources familiar with the matter have told Reuters.

Barclays said last week it has received “unsolicited interest” for San Francisco-based BGI, the world’s biggest asset manager. A deal would likely be worth $10 billion or more, the sources have said.