Barclays Deliberates Sale of iShares ETFs

3-16-09-barclays-125x125March 16, 2009 at 2:13 pm by

Amid a financial crisis that has left Barclays searching for possible sources of additional capital, the company is considering selling the iShares brand to raise quick cash. The funds, which make up more than 45% of all ETF market holdings, are one of Barclays most successful and fastest growing businesses.

Dow Jones reports that the sale could tally billions of dollars, with one industry analyst valuing the iShares brand at $5.6 billion. Finding a buyer, however, may prove to be more difficult, with many possible purchasers already in financial trouble. At present, it is not known whether the sale would involve the entire iShares brand or if Barclays would seek a minority stake.

Barclays has yet to reach a decision regarding the sale of iShares; however, senior equity analyst at Morningstar, Erin Davis, argued “Barclays is pretty desperate to avoid a government stake, so it might cut off its nose to spite its face.”

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