Bloomberg reported that Legg Mason is in exclusive negotiations to buy Clarion Partners, which retained Atlanta-based Gables Residential in multi-billion dollar deal last February.

Baltimore-based Legg Mason would  buy 80% of the company from Lightyear Capital. This deal would be more than 12 times Clarion's earnings before interest, and Legg Mason pre-empted an auction to buy the company. Here's more from Bloomberg's Kiel Porter: 

Clarion’s management, headed by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Stephen Furnary, would retain 20 percent, the people said. A deal could be announced as early as this month, they said

Clarion, which is based in New York and invests in office and retail related real estate, has about $38 billion in assets under management, according to its website. Lightyear and Clarion management bought Clarion Partners from ING Groep NV in 2011 for $100 million.

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