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Barclays Said to Plan Natural Resources Unit Spin Off

Barclays Plc, Britain’s second-largest bank, hired an adviser to sell its natural resource focused private-equity unit, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.

The transaction may value Barclays Natural Resource Investments at between $1 billion and $1.4 billion, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. In addition to the bank’s capital, BNRI also manages about 230 million pounds ($394 million) on behalf of other investors.

Barclays is the latest bank to divest private-equity holdings as regulators press lenders to bolster their capital. Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, Britain’s largest government-owned lender, agreed to sell its remaining stake in its buyout unit to Adams Street Partners LLC in May, while HSBC Holdings Plc hired Campbell Lutyens & Co. to look at sale options for its direct-investment unit in February.

BNRI, which has invested at least $2 billion in more than 20 companies since it started in 2006, canceled plans to raise $900 million for an energy-focused fund, Bloomberg reported in August 2012. The company’s investments include Continental Intermodal, a Texas-based business providing logistics services to the oil and gas market, and U.K.-based oil and gas company Chrysaor, according to its website.

A representative for Barclays declined to comment.

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