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Wednesday, May 26, 2004

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LIC MF third suitor for GIC Mutual

Veena Venugopal

Mumbai , May 25

THE acquisition of GIC Mutual Fund's schemes is expected to be the next announcement in the ever-consolidating mutual fund industry. LIC Mutual Fund is the third suitor to conduct a due-diligence exercise on the fund house before submitting its bid to GIC.

Earlier, both SBI MF and Canbank MF had done their due diligence. "The three bidders are expected to present their offer by the end of the month, and the final decision should be made before the end of June," said a source.

"The process (for the sale of the funds) is on, announcements would be made when the time is appropriate," said Mr P.C. Ghosh, Chairman, GIC, the parent group of the asset management company. Earlier, market speculation indicated that UTI was also interested in snapping up the fund house.

"The list of potential buyers is now clear. In fact, all indications point to the fact that LIC MF might be the one that would seal the deal," said the source. GIC AMC's employees have been actively seeking alternative job opportunities ever since the early signs of sell-off began.

"Public sector AMCs are already overstaffed, and it is very difficult for us to cross over and find suitable opportunities in the private-sector fund houses. There would be panic when the buyer is finalised and the funds get transferred. We have given ourselves 2-3 months until that happens," said an employee.

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