Report: BofA Likely to Put Columbia on the Block

April 1, 2009 ( - Five years after acquiring Columbia Management Group as part of an acquisition, Bank of America (BoA) intends to offload the business in an effort to get rid of non-core assets and better hang onto capital reserves, according to a news report.

A Wall Street Journal news report said the Charlotte-based BofA also wants to sell First Republic Bank, a private financial institution it inherited as part of BofA’s acquisition of Merrill Lynch & Co. last year.

As part of its 2004 acquisition of FleetBoston Financial Corp., BofA acquired Columbia, which had $386.4 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2008.

The Journal said some BofA executives feel Columbia is redundant when compared to BlackRock Inc., a New York money manager that was partly owned by Merrill. BofA has no plans to sell its share of BlackRock, according to the newspaper.