Manhattan Corp.'s Dutch auction business, more than doubling the number of broker-dealers for which it collects and processes competitive bids on stock and bond sales.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Deutsche Bank said it would merge the business into the corporate and institutional trust operations of its global investor services unit, the former securities processing unit of Bankers Trust Co., which Frankfurt-based Deutsche Bank acquired in June.

Deutsche Bank said it already works with 130 broker-dealers and 800 issues. Chase's auction business counts 150 broker-dealers as clients and 320 issues.

The banks act as auction agents, collecting competitive bids from broker-dealers for municipal bonds, asset-backed securities, closed-end funds, and preferred stock. They use the bids to calculate the rate and threshold price at which the securities are to be sold into the market, and then run the sales.

With the sale, Chase is quitting the Dutch auction market. The nation's third-largest bank has been divesting noncore businesses.

"Our Dutch auction clients would be better served, over the long term, by an organization dedicating greater strategic focus and investment to this product," said D'Arcy LeClair, executive vice president of Chase's capital markets fiduciary services. -- Liz Moyer

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