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Pilgrim Baxter Sale Is Unlikely, UAM Says

Pilgrim Baxter & Associates of Wayne, Penn., which had been for sale, has now been taken off the auction block, according to a firm spokesperson.

"There are no active discussions underway and a sale seems unlikely," said Tucker Hewes, the spokesperson. Pilgrim Baxter's parent, United Asset Management of Boston, confirmed that there are no sales discussions going on. The firm had no further comment.

In February of last year, UAM and Pilgrim Baxter announced they had hired Goldman Sachs & Co. of New York to find a buyer for Pilgrim. UAM said at the time it was looking for a buyer who "provides or supports broad retail distribution" so that Pilgrim Baxter could focus on the money management side of the business.

Pilgrim Baxter has seen better days. Its assets under management are now $11 billion, down from just under $20 billion in 1997, Hewes said. The firm has also suffered from defections of high-profile managers like James D. McCall, who went to Merrill Lynch, but only after a nasty contract fight. (MFMN 8/9/99)

In the fall of 1998, it looked like Pilgrim Baxter would be sold to Nationwide Financial Services of Columbus, Ohio, but the deal fell through in mid-October of last year.