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Barclays Said to Plan Sale of Index Unit Valued at $400 Million

Barclays Plc, the second-largest U.K. bank by assets, plans to solicit offers in the next month for its index business, which could fetch $400 million in a sale, people with knowledge of the matter said.

CME Group Inc., which had approached Barclays about buying the Index, Portfolio and Risk Solutions unit last year, is expected to make an offer, one of the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter isn’t public.

Brandon Ashcraft, a New York-based spokesman for Barclays, declined to comment on the unit sale, as did Laurie Bischel, a spokeswoman for CME Group. Reuters reported in November that Barclays had begun weighing options for the index unit after receiving an approach from MSCI Inc. Edings Thibault, a spokesman for MSCI, also declined to comment.

Known as IPRS, the business manages benchmarks including the U.S. Aggregate Bond Index, which follows the broad debt markets, as well as indexes acquired as part of the London-based bank’s acquisition of assets from Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. after its 2008 collapse.

The IPRS unit is part of the investment bank, which Barclays plans to overhaul this year. The changes will include further job cuts and divesting some unprofitable businesses, according to another person with knowledge of the matter.

IPRS also markets portfolio management software to investors. It has more than 200 clients globally, according to the Barclays website, with more than half of them asset or money managers and the rest pension funds, sovereign funds, insurance companies and hedge funds.

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