And then there were two … Regions Financial Corp. has narrowed the bidders for its Morgan Keegan securities unit down to two, The Financial Times reported late Monday. The Blackstone Group L.P. and the Carlyle Group have joined forces, and Thomas H. Lee Partners is the other, the paper reported. They were whittled down from a group of ten. Initial bids had come in at about the unit's $1.5 billion book value, the Times said, citing sources familiar with the process. Final offers are expected in the next few weeks.
It has been a long few months for Morgan Keegan and its owner. Regions announced in June that it planned to sell Morgan Keegan and that the unit had agreed to a $200 million settlement with regulators related to issues concerning certain mutual funds and closed-end funds.