Citic Said to Lead Bidding to Buy Frank Russell Arm From LSE

Citic Group Corp. is in advanced discussions to buy the asset-management arm of Frank Russell Co. from London Stock Exchange Group Plc, a person with knowledge of the matter said.

The Chinese conglomerate may buy the fund-management business for about $1.8 billion, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. While the talks could still collapse, a deal may be reached as soon as this month, the person said.

LSE Group bought Frank Russell for $2.7 billion last year, primarily for its index business. The asset management division oversees about $275 billion. Towers Watson & Co. and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, which were earlier said to be considering bids, are out of the running, the person said.

A Beijing-based representative in Citic’s media department referred queries to the group’s main publicly-traded unit, Citic Ltd. A Hong Kong-based spokeswoman for the listed arm declined to comment, as did Ed Clark, a spokesman for LSE Group. Reuters reported earlier that Citic has made an offer, citing unidentified people.