FRANKFURT (Reuters) – French lender Societe Generale (SOGN.PA) has entered exclusive talks to buy the Equities, Markets and Commodities (EMC) division of Germany’s Commerzbank (CBKG.DE) after beating rival bidder Goldman Sachs (GS.N), Handelsblatt reported on Tuesday.

A view shows the logo on the headquarters of French bank Societe Generale at the financial and business district of La Defense near Paris, France, September 6, 2017. Picture taken September 6, 2017. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

The newspaper, which cited several people familiar with the process, added that one of the sources said a deal could still be a few weeks away.

Commerzbank, which has previously flagged that the unit was up for sale, declined to comment, as did Societe Generale.

The EMC unit includes Commerzbank’s exchange traded funds (ETF) portfolio, equity derivatives and other market making businesses.

SocGen’s asset manager Lyxor had $172.8 billion in assets under management and advisory as of end-January this year, $84 billion of which was placed in ETFs and indexing.

The unit’s head told Reuters in an interview in September that Lyxor Asset Management was prepared to buy a rival provider of index funds to help it maintain its European No.2 market position, but had no plans to join a wave of large-scale deal-making within active fund management.

Reporting by Ludwig Burger and Arno Schuetze Frankfurt, Dominique Vidalon in Paris, Maya Nikolaeva in London, editing by David Evans


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