LONDON – The London Stock Exchange said on Thursday that it planned to put the investment management arm of Russell Investments up for sale, a move that was widely anticipated after it bought the owner of the Russell 2000 stock market index last year.
In June, the exchange agreed to acquire Russell for $2.7 billion in cash and said it would conduct a “comprehensive review” of the asset management arm following the sale.
On Thursday, the London exchange said it had concluded that a sale of the asset management business in its entirety was the best strategy going forward.
The London exchange “has already received a number of expressions of interest in a potential acquisition of Russell Investment Management reflecting the high quality of its business and market leading positions,” the company said in a statement. “A sale process of the business will now commence.”
In acquiring Russell, the exchange said it hoped to expand its intellectual property platform and gain its first foothold in the United States, the world’s largest financial services market.
The exchange already owns the FTSE Group, the operator of indexes including the FTSE 100, which tracks the top 100 stocks traded in London.
Founded in 1936, Russell operates an asset-management business and a stock market indexing business. It is probably best known for the Russell 2000, which tracks small-cap stocks, and about $5.2 trillion in assets are referenced against its United States indexes, according to the company.
The asset management arm has $275.09 billion in assets under management.
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