Speculation Places Amex On The Block With Citigroup, AIG, Morgan Stanley As Ready Bidders

April 2, 2001

American Express Co. shares soared more than 7 percent on Friday on rumors that the financial firm Citigroup Inc. is interested in buying the charge card issuer. A deal could be worth at least $56 billion, based on American Express’s closing share price of $41.30, which would make it the second-largest deal ever in the U.S financial services sector according to a Reuters news service report.

BusinessWeek reported on Friday that Citigroup Chief Executive Sandy Weill was interested in American Express, in a move that would expand the bank and insurance giant’s consumer finance operations and pump up its money management business.

Weill was president of American Express in the early 1980s. Businessweek also reported that Wall Street firm Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. and global insurer American International Group Inc. were also interested in the firm.

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