(Reuters) – Private equity firms Blackstone Group LP (BX.N) and Corsair Capital are in talks to acquire a major stake in First Eagle Investment Management, valuing the company at around $4 billion, including debt, according to people familiar with the matter.
The negotiations with First Eagle’s owners, including buyout firm TA Associates, are expected to continue for weeks and a deal is not certain, the people said on Tuesday.
First Eagle could not be reached. Representatives for Blackstone, Corsair and TA declined to comment.
TA took a minority stake in New York-based First Eagle, which had $100 billion in assets under management as of Dec. 31, in 2007.
In 2013, TA hired Bank of America to explore selling its stake, which is around 25 percent, Reuters exclusively reported at the time.
The majority of First Eagle is owned by the family of John Arnhold, First Eagle’s chairman and chief investment officer. It could not be determined what percentage of the family’s stake would be part of the deal.
First Eagle has seven mutual funds with $75.2 billion in assets under management, according to Morningstar. While four of the funds with a five-year track record have returned within the top quartile of their peers, only one of those funds, the First Eagle Gold Fund, has placed in the top quartile for the past one and three years.