Not So Fast: Citadel Not Buying BofA Prime Brokerage

Dec 20 2007 | 12:40pm ET

Contradicting a tabloid report from earlier today, Citadel Investment Group is not actively considering the acquisition of Bank of America’s prime brokerage unit.

A source close to the $15 billion Chicago hedge fund told Reuters that “there have been no conversations about it and Citadel has not looked at the books.” According to a report in today’s New York Post, BofA wants to sell both the prime brokerage and its public financing unit, Citadel was in talks with the bank and had inspected the unit’s books.

A prime brokerage sale would seem to be part of BofA CEO Kenneth Lewis’ plan to scale back the firm’s investment banking operations. The unit has been hit with a string of recent high-profile departures, including that of former head Christopher Pesce.

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