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Guggenheim in exclusive talks to buy RREEF

RREEF Infrastructure could be heading to New York and Chicago-based Guggenheim Partners as the latter enters exclusive talks to buy parts of Deutsche Bank Asset Management put up for sale last year.

Guggenheim Partners, the New York and Chicago-based firm with $125 billion of assets under management appears to be the favourite to take over RREEF Infrastructre as part of a larger corporate deal to buy parts of Deutsche Bank Asset Management put up for sale last year.

In an announcement this afternoon, Deutsche Bank said it was in exclusive negotiations with Guggenheim over the sale of its Asset Management businesses that are subject to a previously announced strategic review. 

The bank did not expressly say Guggenheim was interested in buying all the different parts for sale, but it went on to list the businesses that were part of the strategic review, including DWS Americas, the Americas mutual fund business; DB Advisors, the global institutional asset management business; Deutsche Insurance Asset Management, the global insurance asset management business; and RREEF, the global alternative asset management business, which houses real estate and infrastructure.

The announcement did not go into any other details except to say that the exclusive negotiations follow Deutsche Bank’s announcement on November 22, 2011, that it would conduct a strategic review of its Asset Management division globally except for the DWS franchise in Germany, Europe and Asia, which the bank had already determined to be a core part of its retail offering in those markets.

It also described Guggenheim Partners as a diversified financial services firm with significant expertise in institutional asset management serving the insurance and pension sectors, as well as in intermediary-focused investments through a broad range of mutual fund solutions. 

Other names to have been thrown into the hat in recent weeks included Macquarie, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, State Street Corporation and Ameriprise Financial. Recent reports suggested some of the parties withdrew from the process a few weeks ago. 

Of particular interest to those in the infrastructure industry is the alternatives businesses – RREEF Infrastructure, RREEF Real Estate and DB Private Equity. 

Whoever eventually ends up owning RREEF would inherit a platform with 600 professionals and more than €8 billion of infrastructure assets under management as well as close to €42 billion of property assets.

RREEF Infrastructure – which describes itseld as the “world's fourth-largest infrastructure manager” –  has been in business since 1994 and has been involved in several high-profile transactions including the Melbourne Airport privatisation in Australia and Peel Ports in the UK. 

Guggenheim does own an alternatives business. Within that is infrastructure, real estate, private equity and quantitative alternative investment. Its infrastructure affiliate, Guggenheim Global Infrastructure Company, invests in energy and infrastructure projects across the globe.