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Foreign & Colonial goes on the market

Foreign & Colonial is the latest fund manager to be put up for sale after parent company HypoVereinsbank, announced a radical restructuring of its fund management business.

HypoVereinsbank, Germany&#39s second-biggest bank, owns a 90 per cent share in the company, thought to be worth around £450m. The F&C investment trust owns the remaining 10 per cent.

HypoVereinsbank has brought in investment bank Donald Lufkin & Jenrette to advise on finding a buyer.

DLJ was involved in acquisition issues of its own this week, with the announcement that its is to be bought by Credit Suisse First Boston.

Possible bidders for the stake in F&C stake could include Amvescap, which made clear its intention to expand in the UK this year when it bid for Perpetual.

Old Mutual, CGNU and ABN Amro are other companies on the acquisition trail.

The news comes amid an autumn blitz of investment industry buyouts and acquisitions. Murray Johnstonehas confirmed it is up for sale while Perpetual is expec-ted to announce a buyer his month.

Bates Investment senior analyst James Dalby says: “Consolidation is always disruptive in the short term. But, ultimately, if you have got stronger businesses and manage to mop up some of the weaker ones, it can only be healthy for the industry.”

l Singer & Friedlander is looking to expand within the UK financial services market with the proceeds from its flotation.

The flotation, which is expected to be completed at the start of next year, could raise £250m. The company is expected to be looking at acquisitions within the asset management or private banking industries.

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