Buyout firms circling Regions Financial Corp.'s Morgan Keegan brokerage unit lowered bids by at least $200 million after financing markets deteriorated and MF Global Holdings Ltd. filed for bankruptcy, according to people with direct knowledge of the process.
Thomas H. Lee Partners LP and Jeffrey Greenberg's Aquiline Capital Partners LLC submitted the highest offer at about $750 million, the people said, asking not to be named because the talks are private. The group topped a joint bid from Carlyle Group LP and Blackstone Group LP, according to the people, who said previous offers valued the unit at more than $1 billion.
PEU's, like Carlyle and company, love heavily discounted distressed assets. The problem is Carlyle's looming IPO, which faces the same investor headwinds as Morgan Keegan.
Morgan Keegan's owner planned a $250 million dividend bleed before divesting the firm. That's but one PEU move.
Update 12-11-11: Still no sign of a buyer for Morgan Keegan