Societe Generale has agree to sell an 80.1% stake in its $2.6 billion fund management unit to Arnhold & S. Bleichroeder Inc., an international investment bank.

Societe Generale, had been searching for a buyer for the unit, Societe Generale Asset Management Corp. since 1998, when it hired Goldman Sachs & Co. to advise such a sale. About 20% of the asset management group will still be owned by Jean-Marie Eveillard, the group's president. Mr. Eveillard also has agreed to stay at the fund company for at least five years. He will be named co-head and joined by Charles De Vaulx, a portfolio manager with the company.

Arnhold & S. Bleichroeder, which already manages $4 billion in assets in two mutual funds and four offshore funds, will gain access to four mutual funds, an offshore fund and a variable annuity through its majority ownership. Terms were not disclosed, but the deal is expected to close before yearend.

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