Guggenheim Partners Said to Seek Buyer for Claymore ETF Division

Guggenheim Partners LLC is seeking buyers for Claymore Investments, the Canadian provider of exchange-traded funds it acquired two years ago, said people with knowledge of the matter.

Guggenheim hired JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Royal Bank of Canada to find buyers, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the effort is private. The unit, which had $6.8 billion of assets under management as of Oct. 31, may fetch several hundred million dollars in a sale, the people said.

Guggenheim acquired the business through its purchase of Claymore Group LLC, announced in July 2009 and completed later that year. In 2010, when it rebranded Claymore’s U.S.-registered funds and business units under the Guggenheim name, Toronto-based Claymore Investments kept its brand.

Jeffrey Kelley, a spokesman for Guggenheim, declined to comment.

Claymore Investments, founded in 2005 and run by Chief Executive Officer Som Seif, claims on its website to have produced several “firsts” for the industry, including the first actively managed ETF, the first ETF to invest in the so-called BRIC nations of Brazil, Russia, India and China, and the first to offer an investment in physical gold with a Canadian dollar hedge.

Claymore’s $6.6 billion in ETF assets under management as of Oct. 31 amounts to 16 percent of the Canadian market, according to data compiled by BlackRock Inc. Only BlackRock’s iShares unit is bigger, with $28.5 billion.

Guggenheim, founded in 2000 with backing from the Guggenheim family, is based in Chicago and New York and oversees more than $125 billion in customer assets, according to the company’s website.

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