Societe Generale (SocGen) is encountering difficulties in selling its securities services unit, Societe Generale Securities Services (SGSS), as potential buyers waver at the bank’s asking price, sources close to the matter report to Reuters

SocGen is reportedly seeking over 1 billion euros for SGSS. Talks with U.S. bank State Street, a major asset custodian, have stalled, according to one source. Both banks declined to comment on the ongoing negotiations. Although SocGen remains open to selling SGSS at the right price, it has deprioritised the sale due to the unit’s crucial role in providing liquidity to other parts of the business, two sources indicated. 

Interested parties

Other interested parties include CACEIS, the asset servicing arm co-owned by Credit Agricole and Spain’s Santander. CACEIS recently acquired RBC Investor Services’ European operations.  PostTrade360° reported in August that SocGen is said to be “exploring strategic options” for SGSS with Citigroup. 

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SGSS, which offers asset custody services to asset managers and pension funds, reported a 17.5 per cent drop in revenues in 2023, bringing in 849 million euros in 2022. As of December, it held 4.9 trillion euros in assets under custody, making it the second-largest custodian in France after BNP Paribas.

Offloading assets

The French bank, ranked third among listed lenders in France, has been trying to sell SGSS since last year. This effort is part of CEO Slawomir Krupa’s broader strategy to streamline operations and shed non-core assets. Recently, SocGen has been active in offloading other assets, including its professional equipment financing business to BPCE for 1.1 billion euros, and its Moroccan and African subsidiaries.