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Barclays US wealth may fetch US$250m, Credit Suisse says

[LONDON] Barclays Plc may fetch US$150 million to US$250 million for its US wealth unit, according to analysts at Credit Suisse Group AG.

Stifel Financial Corp is in negotiations to buy the business from Barclays, Reuters reported May 29, citing three people familiar with the matter that it didn't name. A purchase would make sense for St Louis-based Stifel, which has expanded through a series of acquisitions, the analysts said on Monday in a report.

"Such a deal would be right up CEO Ron Kruszewski's playbook -- buying a troubled franchise from a motivated seller," the analysts led by Christian Bolu wrote. "Strategically, the deal would round out Stifel's wealth- management offering."

In February, Stifel agreed to buy Sterne Agee Group Inc in a US$150 million cash-and-stock deal to expand its wealth- management business. That deal will bring in independent advisers, while the Barclays unit would add wealthier clients, according to the Credit Suisse report.

Mark Lane, a spokesman for London-based Barclays, declined to comment, while Stifel's Sarah Anderson didn't immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

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