iShares Gets a New Buyer

The deal that was to send Barclay’s iShares business to a private equity firm in Europe has been trumped by an offer by BlackRock to acquire Barclay’s Global Investors, the parent of the iShares business.

BlackRock is offering $13.5 billion to buy the asset management business that includes 369 iShares ETFs and $300 billion of ETF assets under management.

Laurence Fink, BlackRock’s CEO, plans to keep BlackRock mutual funds and the ETF unit separate while giving investors a broader product line up and more choices between active and passive management.

The bigger news is Mr. Fink’s plans to place exchange traded funds in retirement plans, traditionally a stronghold for the $10 trillion mutual fund industry. In a conference call with analysts on Friday, Fink also described plans to expand the iShares platform into different countries.

See the iShares ETF Directory for more.