Legg Mason in talks to buy Clarion Partners: Bloomberg

(Reuters) — Global asset manager Legg Mason Inc (LM.N) is in talks to buy a majority stake in real estate investment manager Clarion Partners LLC in a deal valuing the company at about $850 million, Bloomberg reported.

Reuters reported in November that private equity firm Lightyear Capital was looking to sell its majority stake in Clarion Partners LLC for around $800 million, according to people familiar with the sales talks.

A source also told Reuters at that time that Lightyear’s stake in Clarion has attracted interest from a larger asset manager, Legg Mason.

Under the terms being discussed, the asset manager would buy 80 percent of the firm, while New York-based Clarion’s current management will retain 20 percent, Bloomberg said on Monday.

Lightyear helped Clarion’s management buy the firm from its previous partner, Dutch financial services company ING Groep NV (ING.AS), in 2011. When that deal was struck, the price and ownership structure were not disclosed.

Reuters could not immediately reach Legg Mason Inc, Clarion Partners LLC and Lightyear Capital for comment outside regular business hours.