Morgan Stanley Reportedly Pondering Van Kampen Deal

Reuters, quoting anonymous sources, said discussions about a deal for all or a portion of Van Kampen are at an early stage.

A Reuters report, quoting anonymous sources, said Morgan Stanley is considering a deal for its Van Kampen Investments Unit as part of a review aimed at correcting problems with the asset management business.

Reuters said a deal is not imminent and that a suitor could potentially walk away with either the whole company or a portion of it.

The news report speculated that the business could attract interest from companies such as Invesco Ltd, Nuveen Investments, Federated Investors, or Franklin Resources, according to sources.

Van Kampen, which managed about $85 billion in assets as of November 30, offers open- and closed-end mutual funds, unit investment trusts, retirement products, and investment platforms.

Morgan Stanley has posted $2.64 billion in operating losses in its asset management business since the start of 2008. Chief Executive John Mack last month promised his firm was “taking steps to deliver better results” in asset management and other crucial businesses, Reuters reported.