TCW: We Have Not Met with Buyout Firms

NEW YORK (Reuters) – TCW Group Inc Chief Investment Officer Jeffrey Gundlach told Reuters on Tuesday that no private equity firm has spoken with him about acquiring the money management giant from its parent, France’s Societe Generale (SOGN.PA).

The New York Post reported that Kohlberg Kravis Roberts is among a number of private-equity firms engaged in informal talks with SocGen about a possible buyout in TCW, better known as Trust Company of the West. One possibility is a deal that lets an investment firm recapitalize TCW or lets the unit’s management participate in buyout.

“No private equity firm has spoken to me with definitive interest and it is very unlikely to me that any buyer advancing beyond a preliminary stage would do so without talking to me, since I manage 70 percent of the assets,” said Gundlach.

TCW is one of the world’s largest money managers with more than $105 billion in assets, mostly in bonds.

KKR declined comment.

The Post, citing an interview with interim TCW Chief Executive Marc Stern, said private equity may participate in a recapitalization of TCW. Stern denied that SocGen would entertain an outright sale of the unit.

SocGen acquired a majority stake in TCW in 2001 that has swelled to 70 percent. Recently SocGen said it might either spin off TCW in an initial public offering within five years or recapitalize its investment. (Reporting by Jennifer Ablan and Paritosh Bansal, Writing by Joseph A. Giannone; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)